Meat Breathing Through Plastic Wrap

I wasn’t properly prepared for the fourth film in our Slavic and East European series with the Ryder and REEI. (I wrote about the first three, Murina, EO, and The Other Side of Everything here, here, and here.) There’s a good reason for this, which I’ll get to shortly. The slices of meat squirming across… Continue reading Meat Breathing Through Plastic Wrap

Polishing the Keys to the Future: The Other Side of Everything

By contrast to the first two films in our Slavic and East European series with the Ryder and REEI, Murina and EO (which I wrote about here and here), there is never any doubt about where we find ourselves in Mila Turajlić’s 2018 documentary The Other Side of Everything. Almost all the action takes place… Continue reading Polishing the Keys to the Future: The Other Side of Everything

EO and The Golden Ass

I initially thought Jerzy Skolimovski’s 2022 feature EO, which IU’s Slavic department and REEI sponsored for a Ryder screening as part of its spring semester film series last Sunday, was very complex in terms of its composition. Probably this is because it uses some rather aggressive editing at the start, especially with the pulsing red… Continue reading EO and The Golden Ass

Life of Ivanna

The most ironic aspect of the 2021 documentary Life of Ivanna is Ivanna’s dream of having her own place, which actually pushes the film along its main trajectory. This claim requires a little context. Ivanna is a twenty-six-year-old Nenets mother of five living, at the beginning of the film, on the Taimyr Peninsula in the… Continue reading Life of Ivanna

Kaplan’s Adriatic

I’m about 60 pages into Robert D. Kaplan’s Adriatic: A Concert of Civilizations at the End of the Modern Era and am still uncertain about it. With such a big sounding title, in such a nice new cloth bound edition from Random House, it seems it should be more substantial than it is so far.… Continue reading Kaplan’s Adriatic

Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass and the Senses of Provocation

When news broke that Russian forces had launched, on April 8, 2022, a missile attack on the Kramatorsk train station, which was filled with thousands of fleeing women and children at the time, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement calling it a “provocation.” The Russian Foreign Ministry took the same line earlier with… Continue reading Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass and the Senses of Provocation