Mikhail Maksimov's The Death of Father Men is a "neuro crime-story" based on machine learning. The film focuses on the brutal assassination of the ecumenic Russian Orthodox priest, scholar and theologian Alexander Vladimirovich Men, aka Father Men, a controversial figure in Russia during the second half of the 20th century. The Death of Father Men was selected for the Locarno Film Festival 2018 and it's available for a limited time on the awesome online platform Vdrome. Also, don't miss Vladimir Nadein's interview with the artist. Here's a salient passage:
VN: Speaking of your love for gaming and game development, being inside the game, experiencing it rather than walking it through—how important is it for you?
MM: It’s quite logical. As I said, it’s interesting to excerpt the chunks, the concentration of life and kind of hold it in your hands, examine it. GTA 5 has a non-linear video editor, it allows you to combine bits of life filmed on different cameras into one. By clicking REC in GTA 5, before working in the video editor, you can record the life of the whole state of California at that moment. And when you start editing, you work with this life. This state’s life piece is served to you like a piece of cake. And then any cat running down the street could catch your eye and you’d be able to work with that cat. That is the point: you film not the thing you want, but the whole imagery procedure and later when you realise why did you film it: not because your character bumped oddly into the corner, but rather because this cat hit you. So, you could focus your efforts on it. This game allows you to save moments in their rich diversity rather than in its flatness, it’s kind of pseudoscientific discipline. The pseudoscience of digital physics. Actually, there is such notion, it’s not pseudoscience, it has substantial grounds and advocates, including physicians.
Mikhail Maksimov manages almost impossible: he combines heavy Russian mysticism where theosophy and cosmism are intervened with the spirits of nature, with the contemporary form of glossy pop culture — 3D-graphics. It is this gap that creates wow-effect for the audience when you remain stuck to a video-work or computer game.
LINK: Mikhail Maksimo