Daydreaming in the Hood. The Film Almanac
A collective almanac of 13 debut films by non-professional authors.
A film project about the reality and myths of the Moscow district of Shchukino, created by the participants of the eponymous experimental workshop, led by the director Andrey Silvestrov, became the first part of the Daydreaming in the Hood project. The short films are organized in chapters, and a common trailer serves as a prologue. Each chapter is preceded by a short textual digression, assembled from various facts about Shchukino and local news. The plots of individual shorts are interwoven into a 90-minute kaleidoscope of city life, intricately combining meanings and images, the individual and the collective, the fictional and the real.
The film premiered at the Spirit of Fire International Debut Film Festival (Khanty-Mansiysk, March 2020).
We came up with the idea that a dream ("сон" in Russian) is an acronym: “способ образования нарратива” — literally, a method for generating narratives. That is, a kind of free principle of video content production. A highly diverse group of remarkable people used that freedom to assemble their own “collective dream”. Somewhere in an outlying part of the city, people are dreaming. Nothing is less important than that — or nothing could be more important. It is as if a new fabric of social connections is being opened up to us, and that fabric becomes the content of the film.
Artistic Director — Andrey Silvestrov
Curators — Kirill Adibekov, Alexandra Khazina, Giulia Moruccio, Joel Valabrega
Director of Photography — Daniil Fomichev
Editing Director — Yuri Golubev
Sound Director — Rustam Medov
Producers — Liusya Artemyeva, Nikita Rasskazov
Films of the almanac
Author: Mikhail Bodukhin
The noise and rhythm of the big city are replaced with a concentrated silence by the riverside. What do we feel when we move from one state to another?
My film is, on the one hand, an impression of how time flows and how it may be perceived by us, and on the other a kind of joke, but also a salute to my few favourite films.
Author: Minnur Huseynova
Five teenagers and a debutant filmmaker make a video blog, goofing around with neighborhood scare stories about vampires, werewolves and robots.
Idiots' vlog is filmed in gonzo style: no rules, restrictions, structures, strict forms, cameramen, sets, script — just pure flow and goofiness. There’s deliriously chaotic filming and sincere amateurism of the 15-year-olds I found through VKontakte, and we came up with the idea and shot the whole thing in one day. The outcome is paradoxical: the characters are frustrated, and making cinema, even amateurish, is excruciating. The project consists of 4 vlogs available on YouTube and a general film with a reflection on the project.
THIS IS NOT SHCHUKINO
Author: Pyotr Voloshin
The hero wanders through a southern city, pining for his home district.
The film is about what Home is and where it is. A movie about a neighbourhood and its role in our lives. At a time when cities are growing too big, we understand more and more that the neighbourhood is our Home.
Author: Yana Osman
Every year, hot water is cut off in Moscow. We warm water in a kettle and go to our nearest and dearest in another neighborhood to take a shower. During another water shutdown in the summer of 2019, the author installed bathtubs, showers and a hot water truck right in one of Moscow’s courtyards, turning an entire neighbourhood into one big communal shower room.
Paradise Soiled is Eden transformed after the Fall. There is no hot water there.
THE SPIRIT OF THE STREET
Author: Ekaterina Zubkova
Street Spirit composes poems, piecing them together from randomly overheard fragments of phrases and sounds of the city.
Every day we hear dozens of overheard clips of random phrases, some of them funny and absurd, others thought-provoking. I thought it was a kind of unconscious urban poetry. It may not make sense, but you can find one if you want to. Just like a game we used to play as children, we would write a line of a story on a piece of paper and then fold up the page, I decided to assemble chaotic pieces of the mosaic and become a spirit of the street.
THE MEASURE OF THINGS
Author: Daria Mareeva
By methodically measuring the things that we are used to, you may unexpectedly discover a portal to a parallel world.
Shchukino is the area where I have lived almost all my life. It’s not big, but it is bordered by diverse landscapes, there are strange artefacts scattered here and there, which inspired me to create this story. Even the grocery store here is more like a portal to a parallel world than a place to buy sausages.
Author: Svetlana Yakovleva
The state of sleep is very comfortable and pleasant, but then you have to wake up, as if you have to surface to take a breath.
For me, the process of waking up is related to participating in the workshop. In this sense, the film is quite autoreflexive: it captures my actions, reflections, mistakes and falls, as well as the constant sense of unease that I had to overcome while participating. I chose the pool, the most familiar and intimate space available to me, for the shoot. The long-distance swimming reminds me strongly of the state of sleep.
Author: Alexandra Kharina
Clots are the visualization of the physical states we dive into when we are stressed or mentally distressed.
My heroine is not trying to fight them: they are both outside and inside her; they are both demons of the soul and a defensive reaction. In reality, painting is a plane and an exhibition object, but on the screen, reality and painting create a commonality, they find a single space. I was curious to explore this collage.
Author: Vladimir Vyalov
Will life change for Sergey, a computer wizard, if social rating is introduced in the country?
In my film I tackle the themes of power, control and biopolitics, fantasizing in an ironic and performative way about the export potential of global control technology from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
Authors: Ksenia Babushkina, Oleg Koronny, Vladimir Milovanov
The story of one district holiday, told in a film trailer format.
We must say that we have not finished working on the film, and all the stages of its creation were long-suffering. We made the film as a team, but each of us pulled in different directions; this made not only the plot fall apart but also the organisation of pre-production, editing and post-production. And in the end our camera and laptops were stolen and the film could not be finished as planned. The final version is more like an essay on how you make movies nowadays, when you have no money and no time.
IGOR KURCHATOV. STALIN’S HABERDASHER
Author: Yuri Golubev
The hero sleeps in his flat and has a wonderful dream in which the Indian goddess Kali is dancing. When he wakes up, he realises it’s going to be a bomb.
Shchukino is home to the Kurchatov Institute, and the theme of the workshop was dreams in the neighbourhood. That’s how I came up with a film in the alternative history genre. It tells the story of Igor Kurchatov’s mysterious journey through dreams.
SHADOWS OF HIROSHIMA
Author: Elena Skripkina
A teacher and a student spend the morning admiring nature. An explosion occurs and their figures are imprinted on a wall by the light radiation from a nuclear explosion.
This film connects to my visual anthropological study on the personal, intimate in the experience of catastrophe. It is also a poetic statement on the thin line between sleep and death.
Author: Ivan Susarin
A modern paraphrase of the parable of the Chinese monk and the butterfly.
This film is like a stream of metaphors, snatches of what I dreamed. At times I woke up and wrote down what I had dreamed, and then spent days, or even weeks, pondering how to capture and relate it.