“This 34-year-old filmmaker has invented an entire universe,” wrote Jean-Michel Frodon in Le Monde, and he was right. Darezhan Omirbaev may well have been inspired by Bresson and Hitchcock, but he has indeed created his very own universe in the five films he’s made since the late 80s. The disconnected events of his films are simple – a boy travelling on a train from the steppe to the city, riding on a bus, going to a movie and brushing bare arms with his date, wandering through a train yard. But every form, every movement, every gesture seems to have found its precise poetic place, and the emotional terrain contained within his first feature feels as vast as an ocean. Kairat is the name of Omirbaev’s autobiographically inspired hero, who moves through life exactly as many of us do when we’re adolescents – awkwardly, in bewildered confusion, guarding a wealth of emotions deep within us like a buried treasure. One of the best films of the 90s. —Film Society of Lincoln Center
With a degree in Mathematics, Omirbaev first approached cinema theoretically, graduating from VGIK with a thesis on film semiotics and writing criticism for the magazine Novoe Kino. Omirbaev’s theoretical concerns translate seemlessly to the making of films, and like other critics turned directors, finds human expression for his ideas. Like Bresson, he pays close attention to details, to points of subtle contact between people, and particularly in Kardiogramma – to the merging of dream and reality. And like Godard, his films are self-referential (Jol), and literary (Kairat). His first feature film, Kairat, won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. —Seagull Films
I guess I must be the idiot than but Kairat fell way short, to me a film below the sum of it's parts, Cardiogram I loved and this film carried a lot of the same elements of course maybe if I hadn't seen Cardiogram first which constantly dazzled my expectations I might not have been so uncompelled.
A delightfully sexy teenage comedy engendered in degenerate Soviet socialist infrastructure, where every woman who appears on screen is begging to be made love to in her own special way. The appeals to Bresson and Tarr in the comments are completely off the mark: this is one part Bunuel and one part Nicholas Ray.
This dazzling debut feature from the Kazakh director throbs with a restless, existentialist energy. Through his complex, often symbolic mesh of imagery, Omirbayev captures a twilight zone between sleep… read review