from Feb 2022

The second part of the film programme of the Santa Barbara season consists of two- and three-day film marathons that can be enjoyed at the GES-2 Kino Cinema from morning to evening.

Extraordinary Series is several film marathons in which stories often have no beginning or suddenly break off in the middle. The Flower by Mariano Llinás (La Flor, 2018) is 812 minutes of several independent stories: a pastiche pretending to be a  B-movie follows a parody; a horror film and a musical are followed by a spy melodrama. The Flower is the pivotal film of the entire Time Machine programme, since it echoes the main themes of the Santa Barbara season: melodrama, imitation and cultural appropriation. For 14 hours, The Flower presents cinematographic history in an ironic and loving retrospective. But this is not just film history. Mariano Llanas' story has its roots in magical realism: the riddles will remain unresolved, but the clues scattered just about everywhere draw the audience into the mysterious and unpredictable labyrinth of cinema.

An unexpected counterpoint to the Llinás saga in the Extraordinary Series is the comedy troupe Monty Python and their sketches. Unlike The Flower, which is entirely built on the actresses’ transformational acting, Monty Python refers to the travesty of classical theatre, in which all the roles are performed by men. Short comedic sketches defy easy translation, as do the texts of the jokes.  If surrealism originated on continental Europe,  absurd comedy definitively broke off from the continent along with the British Isles. Sketches about a dead parrot, the Ministry of Silly Walks, and the insolently vulgar Arthur Negus are classics that influenced Russian television in the 1990s and 2000s but have not lost their sharp wit and relevance to this day.

The two- and three-day film marathons of The Flower and Monty Python can be watched at GES-2 Kino from morning to evening (with plentiful authorial breaks), as well as in separate episodes — the choice is up to the viewer. However, there’s always the temptation to binge watch.

The Monty Python film marathon is supported by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow.

A still from Mariano Llinás' The Flower (2018)