In this loopy, phantasmagoric satire, a failed poet enters the burgeoning advertising industry in early-90s Russia, works his way up the corporate ladder, and eventually gets recruited by a shadow organization that controls the government. Along the way he takes lots of hallucinogenic drugs (his successful ad campaigns often come to him as visions), and the movie derives its cleverest ideas, both visual and satirical, from the conceit that post-Soviet capitalism resembles a never-ending acid trip. Adapting Victor Pelevin’s postmodern novel, director Viktor Ginzburg keeps this lively by trying out a new effect (commercial parodies, CGI, rapid montage) in nearly every scene. Not all of them work, but the overall energy is hard to resist. In Russian with subtitles.
NR • 1 hour 51 min • 2012