A loose, exposed young man plays a shambolically graceful version of Gene Kelly’s (Singing in the Rain) for an audience of a rapt spectator under the sky of a falling sky before the improvised movie screen erected on a Kazakh hillside.
This scene is the miniature yellow cat of AdhilkanYerzhanov: a film that has such an incipient, unconventional excitement that it finishes off with all its beautiful stuff.
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The most open and purely enjoyable film by the fantastic Kazakh cinematic filmmaker is packed with offbeat Cinephiya, essentially serving as a cock-eyed homage to Terrence Malick’s ‘Badlands,’ which combines clever genres with heavy social commentary in an age-old tale: lovely maladaptations chasing untenable visions in an age-old story.
The Kazakh steppe has been stuck through a lonely figure. He looks bizarre, suited up in the trenchcoat of the 1950’s gumshoe even from this point.
Kermek (Azamat Nigmanov, a sublime, dead boy) was released early from prison for good behavior and acquired an erratic love of film at an orphanage in which he was only allowed to watch one hour a film.
Now he comes back to the small (fictional) area, where many of Jerzhanov’s films are made, where he enters into a small shop and calls for a job.
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Kermek launches a little pantomime of attitudes and postures, eventually explaining that he is feeling for Alain Delon, to his slack-joke confusion of his two interviewees when asked for his qualifications. He adds helpfully, “You know, from ‘Le Samouraï.’
There’s something slightly mystical and profoundly funny about the distance between Jean Pierre Melville’s classical of the cool of 1967 and that muddy little place in the dusty center of Central Asia suddenly closed to nothing in the unlikely individual of a Kazakh exconnector with its cap.
Like children, gangsters are fighting over films. And henchmen send Robert De Niro impressions (expectedly dead-on). Yerzhanov, however, makes the sweetness and sorrow so smooth that he enjoys films unreservedly.
However, the cinema is about the glorious confusion of placing all your confidence and putting your hopes in a beam of light. In “Yellow Cat,” films strengthen, extend and improve life, but they cannot save it.
A former-con Alain Delon fan and his girl dream of building cinemas in the Hills of Kazakhstan, if they are only left by the gangsters. The amazing movie is being loved by everyone. Stay tuned with us for more updates.