Nine Seven Seven

Willfully obscure pic featuring sci-fi elements and long takes, pic reps evidence of grandmaster Andrei Tarkovsky's continuing, not always necessarily healthy, influence on the Russian arthouse scene. Fests may take further readings of this, but B.O. even at home will be infinitesimal.

With:
With: Fedor Lavrov, Klavdia Korshunova, Katerina Golubeva, Pavel Lubimtsev, Alica Khazanova, Andrey Kazakov, Leos Carax.

Willfully obscure pic featuring sci-fi elements and long takes, “Nine Seven Seven” reps evidence of grandmaster Andrei Tarkovsky’s continuing, not always necessarily healthy, influence on the Russian arthouse scene. Helming debut by Nikolay Khomeriki posits an institute where scientists measure the mean constant value of individual subjects’ “particle flux” when they’re in various emotional states, resulting in bad vibes all round. Fests may take further readings of this, but B.O. even at home will be infinitesimal.

Serious boffin Ivan (Fedor Lavrov) arrives in unnamed town from Novosibirsk to take up a post at institute run by Sergey Sergeyevich (Pavel Lubimtsev) and is immediately put in charge of Unit 7 where the particle flux experiments are taking place. Maximum reading a subject can produce is 977, hence title, and fetching waif Rita (Klavdia Korshunova) does just that, but seems to disappear mysteriously from the sealed observation rooms every time the experiment is conducted. Overtones of Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” and “Stalker” are bolstered by hints, so subtle those just reading the subtitles won’t get them, that action takes place in the ’70s. Katerina Golubeva from “Twentynine Palms” is underused. Tech package is adequate.

Nine Seven Seven

Russia

Production: A Metronome Films, Telekino Studio presentation of a Arsen Gottlieb production, supported by Federal Agency for Cinematography of Russia. (International sales: Intercinema, Moscow.) Produced by Arsen Gottlieb. Executive producer, Vladimir Luzanov. Directed by Nikolay Khomeriki. Screenplay, Yuny Davidov, Khomeriki, with the participation of Alexander Rodionov.

Crew: Camera (color), Alisher Khamidkhodjaev; editor, Igor Kireev; music, Fedor Lavrov, production designer, Denis Shibanov; costumes, Svetlana Garpinchenko. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 26, 2006. Running time: 70 MIN.

With: With: Fedor Lavrov, Klavdia Korshunova, Katerina Golubeva, Pavel Lubimtsev, Alica Khazanova, Andrey Kazakov, Leos Carax.

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