Films by Vladimir Tyulkin

Date: 30 October 2005 | Season: London Film Festival 2005 | Tags:

Sunday 30 October 2005, at 2pm
London National Film Theatre NFT3

Vladimir Tyulkin, About Love, Kazakhstan, 2005, 28 min
A portrait of Nina Perebeyeva, who for 30 years has dedicated her life to abandoned and infirm dogs, turning her home into Kazakhstan’s only animal shelter. Dogs are everywhere – constantly barking and bickering – and the house is one big litter tray, but there is such compassion in the chaos. Perebeyeva is almost saintly in her devotion to the animals, and the film’s tender view culminates in the absolute wonder of its life-affirming ending, in which she receives an unexpected gift from the film crew.

Vladimir Tyulkin, Lord of the Flies, Kazakhstan, 1990, 45 min
Lord of the Flies is an incredible glimpse into the life of Kirill Ignatyevich Schpak and his garden of unearthly delights. An outsider by any standards, Grandad Kirill has spent his retirement ‘undermining the fly population’ by killing flies with an almost religious fervour, hoping to prevent contamination by the bacteria they carry. Hard working and well intentioned, his method is inventive but slightly skew. It looks like he’s actually cultivating larvae in his ‘flytrone’ just so that he can destroy it, after which it’s preserved as feed for the chickens. ‘It gives me free meat and eggs. If such farms are set up all over the country, we’ll enter a new era of prosperity’. He admits his efforts are futile unless his pest control plan is implemented worldwide, and his self-sufficiency doesn’t entirely provide for his citizens: he buys canine corpses from the dogcatcher and boils up the meat – disguising the taste with stewed aubergines – to feed to his hounds. This self-styled tsar enforces strict law and order and has no time for perestroika; his backyard is a ‘state in miniature’ in which nations of animals live in communal harmony. Kirill addresses the camera with crazy schemes and proclamations, and the camera spins off into inspired observations of the world he has created. The visionary cinematography and autumnal colours make the film look like an apparition from Hieronymus Bosch, perfectly apt for this extreme, medieval lifestyle.