Moody. Aspirant. Reflective on an Space-Age Era. Hopeful for what’s to come.
Filmed in Moscow by the award-winning director and photographer Anna Radchenko, Kokosmos is a forward-thinking tribute to Russia’s infatuation with space that reshapes the Soviet paradigm for a less dictatorial one.
A fusion of fashion, music, and experimental video, Kokosmos blends magical realism and reality by speculating what space travel might be in a new era.
The video is Radchenko’s first piece combining CGI with real footage, a taste of forthcoming work.
Kokosmos is a collaboration with model Yana Dobroliubova, recognised for her striking and ethereal looks which break away from traditional beauty standards. Inspired by Dobroliubova’s unearthly aesthetic, as well as Japanese manga artist Shintaro Kago, Radchenko focuses on the concept of the all-seeing-eye, established in gnostic and circles of democratic governance to be representative of a “divine logos” that governs humanity’s forward progress.
Music and sound design duo Playhead worked with the London-based singer songwriter Alyusha Chagrin to create an otherworldly-sounding language to fit the short’s scenario.
Similarly, the choices of clothing and make-up are crafted to a post-soviet space theme; Radchenko brings in elements of folklore by specifically selecting Russian fashion designers leveraging neon color palette featuring greens and purples.
In the world presented by THE REPLACEMENT, clone 642, Abe Stagsen, has just become president. Not everyone is happy about this development, least of all the person who originated his existence, a janitor who has seen no benefit from the successes of all the fruit his genes have produced.
This short which integrates three parts portrayed by actor Mike McNamara seamlessly thanks to the magic of cloning and expert cutting (janitor, president, and newscaster) presents a creative concept that delivers in terms of storytelling that is able to capture audience interest.
This film is doubly fascinating because it speaks to contemporary problems in consideration of intellectual property and biomedical research. This problem surfaces in our current reality in the terms of Henrietta Lacks, John Moore, Ted Slavin — and to some the selectively-unrealized human potential that became HEK-293.
THE REPLACEMENT also speaks to all who labor and feel immobile in their position and the exploitative powers that they feel they can’t control.
That’s generally the hallmark of a good dystopian work. The cinematography presented by three-time Emmy winner Mike Bove is one of the most magnificent aspects of this film.
You can see director/producer team Sean Miller and Naz Khan’s latest release in two locations: