Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

OF FREAKS AND MEN
(Pro Ourodov I Lioudiei)

 

Year: 1998
Country: Russia
Run Time: 92 minutes

Imagine a three-way DNA gene-splicing of Nikolai Gogol, D.W. Griffith, and David Lynch, and you have OF FREAKS AND MEN, a marvelously macabre tragicomedy set in czarist-era St. Petersburg. Portrait-photographer Johann has descended to making fetishist prints of nude or bare-bottomed women being spanked, a long way from the days when he captured the image of the beautiful child Liza for her wealthy engineer father. Now Liza is grown up, restless, and among the clandestine buyers of Johann's peculiar brand of pornography. And Johann has not forgotten Liza, even though his goodhearted young apprentice Putilov is also smitten with her. Meanwhile, Johann's ghoulish sales agent Victor develops his own obsessions, specifically with a pair of singing Siamese tiwns adopted by a respected doctor, whose genteel household is also ensnared in Johann's web of depravity. The new inventions of the cinematic camera and sound recording add another dimension to these strange characters and their furtive perversions. Old-timey cards, meticulous direction, and a stunningly deadpan cast round out Alexei Balbanov's ornate, sepia-toned melodrama-o-rama of obsession and abnormalities. (In Russian with English subtitles.

Screenplay
Alexei Balabanov

Director
Alexei Balabanov

Producer
Sergei Selyanov, Oleg Botogov

Cinematography
Sergei Astakhov

Editing
Dmitri Shostakovich

Principal Cast
Sergei Mokavetsky, Dinara Drukarova, Victor Sukhorukov, Lika Nevolina, Vadim Prokhorov

Print Source
Questions? >

Questions?

Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about entering the film festival.

Donate >

Donate

Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

go
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare

Donate

x

We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today