Guest Picks: Gleb Osatinski

Gleb Osatinski's The House at the Edge of the GalaxyGleb Osatinski’s cosmic fable THE HOUSE AT THE EDGE OF THE GALAXY screens at Sarasota Film Festival this Saturday – but you can stream it right now on Fandor! in honor of this achievement, we asked him for his Favorite Fandor Five.

A transplant from the former USSR, Gleb Osatinski is a filmmaker who worked for years in the financial sector before giving over to his love of crafting cinema. The following picks reflect the films formative to his artistic development and indicative of his particular brand of magical realism. In his own words, he takes us on an international journey through classic and contemporary dreamworlds:

1. At Land (1944) and Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
directed by Maya DerenMaya Deren's At Land“These are probably the most influential experimental films for me that created an amazing  introduction to ‘trans’ in film. Deren creates a bridge into the unknown, and through her films, you can be undeniably lost in multilayered interpretation of her story, characters, and symbols. The meaning grows inside and I can come back to these films at any time to watch again and again to find yet another hidden meaning.”

2.  Nostalghia (1983) directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovksy's Notalghia
“One of the most visually stunning films that Andrei Tarkovsky created. A truly inward-facing, multi-layered, dream-like story that captures movements of the human soul. Tarkovsky undeniably communicates with something above him through the language of poetry shown through the camera, and, perhaps, even captures a message that he later encodes in one of the most visceral dream sequences he has ever done. Tarkovsky himself thought of this film as the most successful he ever made.”

3. The Return (2003) directed by Andrey Zvyaginstev
Andrey Zvyaginstev's The Return
“This is truly magical film, full of mystery and realism – my favorite genre. Amazingly beautifully shot, this is stunning visceral story from another Russian director. Like Tarkovsky (Solaris, The Mirror), Zvyagintsev explores deteriorating connections between father and son. In the film, the line between real and surreal is very thin, and it often takes you off guard. The film explores the dilemma boys face that makes them decide whether or not to act, and here the interior dynamic of their own relationship with themselves is more important than how they feel about their father. A must see.”

4. Dogtooth (2009) directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth
Yorgos Lanthimos gives us a middle-class Greek family, lorded over by a businessman father who keeps his three children within the walls of their smart home and teaches them the incorrect definitions of several new words each day.  The family never leaves the house and their perception of the world is truly developed by what father explains and does. It is truly mesmerizing piece where Lanthimos crafts a stunningly provocative and, at times, witty play on the inspirations that make us who we are and question what we know.”

5. The House on Trubnaya (1928) directed by Boris Barnet
Boris Barnet's The House On Trubnaya
“An amazing masterpiece by Boris Barnet, a director less known in Russia and the world.  Boris’ films were locked away on shelves in the Soviet Fund of Films and only recently became available to the public. The House on Trubnaya is a window into Russia circa 1928, but it transcends magically into the present day. It is truly rich in its imagery and the cinematography is reminiscent of early Godard. The plot hinges on a petit bourgeois hairdresser (hilariously caricatured by Vladimir Fogel) who tries to hire a non-union housemaid; it is funny and witty. A magical piece not to be missed.”

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