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Kokosmos – by Anna Radchenko

A hymn to cosmic enthusiasm in socialist societies, coming up online (not for nothing) on Russia's Cosmonautics Day

0 – 5 | 2019 | CGI | Outer Space | Russia | Visual Poem

“Glory to the Soviet People, pioneers of the cosmos!”, as a dazzling propaganda poster put it during the Space Race. Kokosmos, the short film directed by London-based Russian filmmaker and photographer Anna Radchenko, is a tribute and a hymn to that infatuation.

The title appears to concern the Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. And besides, the popular song The March of the Aviators stated that “We were born to turn fairy tales into reality!”. So Kokosmos, described as “somewhere between a fashion film, a music piece and an experimental video,” relaunches the magnetic charm that the style of cosmonauts, first Soviet and then Russian, has always exercised.

Radchenko combines CGI with live-action footage and professes to take inspiration from Japanese manga artist Shintaro Kago, the underground artist who has garnered a cult following around the world creating the “ironic guro” (sub-genre of the “ero guro,” the erotic grotesque nonsense) with works such as Kagopedia, Super Conductive Brains Parataxis, and Anamorphosis. The all-seeing eye of Russian model Yana Dobroliubova, statuesque and perfect body with her stunning androgenic beauty, “expresses our constant need to explore and search.”

Kokosmos

The post-Soviet theme of Kokosmos is blown about by music and sound design by Lister Rossel, Utkucan Eken, and We Are Playhead. “Growing up in post-soviet Russia – Anna Radchenko explained – I’d be constantly dreaming about space, the unknown and what was out there, almost like an unknown entity we were trying to reach out to. With Kokosmos I wanted to express exactly that: my vision of what space and this god-like presence would look and feel like”.

Kokosmos comes up online on 12 April, and not for nothing: Russia is celebrating Cosmonautics Day, established in 1962 to commemorate the first manned space flight in history, when Vostok 1 orbited the earth with Jurij Alekseevič Gagarin aboard. Sputnik, the dogs Belka and Strelka, and Valentina Tereškova continue to unite power and people, romance and technology, dream and reality. According to Gagarin, “orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!”: really cosmic. To be watched with Wanderers by Erik Wernquist.

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

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