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Alive

2011 |1h 05min | Feature film | Director, script writer, operator, editor Den Hook

Human consciousness today is inseparable from the media, merged with an endless flow of information. People perceive themselves as heroes of movies, seeing themselves from an external perspective, like in a movie, in a constant flicker of frames.

The film industry reacted to this trend before its appearance: by abandoning artistic and dramatic elements, using amateur video, and creating a fake reality. Fictional films made in the style of documentaries, such as "Exit Through the Gift Shop," began to emerge.

"Alive" is a live-action film created by artists about artists. We witness the story of the emergence of the Russian artist Alexander Alef Weiseman, and the film is a tool for his development as an artist, an important stage in his life journey.

Director Denis Kryuchkov and his team have been searching for the border between art and documentary since 2005. It all began with "Tea Drunkard" starring musician Basta, and "Ditches" based on Oleg Grooz's play. The space of the film — that is, the space of the main character's life — is filled with fairy-tale characters. Each character creates their own fairy tale: someone is a grey wolf, someone is a genie, someone is an silly old-timer... and the hero, like Ivan the Fool with his ball of yarn, sets off into unknown magical thickets. His ball of yarn, a guiding thread, is his interest in how to create a fairy tale life? What does one need to do for that?

The characters lead him through the everyday reality as beacons in his search. We see that the everyday is always nearby, appearing in the images of post-Soviet entrances and backstreets, but almost imperceptibly flickers because the fairy tale manifests itself as soon as a new fairy-tale person appears. The hero himself, at first, floats in a half-sleep, not knowing what he is searching for — just hitting corners or dissolving in high, searching for his own path — his state. In his first attempts, it sounds unconvincing, clearly fading against the sincere actions of the fairy-tale people, but gradually gains credibility. And at some point, the hero is able to maintain the fairy-tale not only within himself but also outside.

By the middle of the film, he crawls out of the state of a tourist floating on the waves and transitions to independent contemplative psychedelic walks, and at the end of the film, he is already acting — and ultimately disappears in the fairy-tale reflections of his mirror. Gradually, as the story unfolds, his own fairy tale strengthens, and the final moment of the film can be considered as a gate that he has passed through — from this time on, he is a full-fledged storyteller, and he no longer needs guides. His current goal is achieved — he has joined the world of fairy-tale people.

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