Filmforum Presents Soviets Plus Electricity


Filmforum welcomes French filmmaker Nicolas Rey to present the Los Angeles premiere of his epic film “Les soviets plus l’électricité” (Soviets Plus Electricity) (2001, 15mm, 175 min.) at the Velaslavasay Panorama on Sunday December 8. Nicolas Rey in person!

“Soviets plus electricity” is a cinematic journey through Russia to Magadan, a city famous in Soviet times for being synonymous with deportation. Based on excerpts from his acoustic diary, documentary footage and some autobiographical insights given on the way, the roving reporter searches for imaginary roots and its historical and political implications. The film was shot in August and September 1999.

A cinetrip to a defunct country. Super-self-production in Sviemacolor by Nicolas Rey.
 Three hours of 16mm public transportation.
 Wandering through Russia as if through someone else’s house.
”Day two is the worst. It was the same in the train: on the second day, I stamped my feet impatiently. Then, from the third day on, it gets better. You get used to the slowness, to the monotonous landscape, to a life made up of short sleep-eat-wait cycles having absolutely nothing to do with the usual timing of a day.”  Advertisements for linoleum as if it were some precious stone, and entire cities – built on gold mines – left abandoned. There is no such thing as Russian chaos. Just “Europe” stretching all the way to the Pacific Ocean, and no longer merely to the ghostly Oural Mountains.

Nicolas Rey (b. 1968) wasn’t named after the famous American director (he’s the one that had a pseudonym) nor is he the son of the French experimental filmmaker Georges Rey. He’s been making films since 1993, productions hovering somewhere between photography, documentaries and experimental films. He spends most of his time at “L’Abominable”, a co-operative film lab he helped founding in 1995.  He’s wrapping up a US tour in Los Angeles.

Other information and illustrations at

Sunday, December 8, 2013 – 6:30 pm
The Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 West 24th Street (by Hoover), Los Angeles CA 90007
Les soviets plus l’électricité (Soviets Plus Electricity) (2001, 15mm, 175 min.)

Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors/V.P.E.S. Members; free for Filmforum members.  Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.

Nicolas Rey will be doing a different show at REDCAT on Monday, December 9, at 8:30 pm. autrement, la Molussie (differently, Molussia) Special thanks to Steve Anker, Bérénice Reynaud, REDCAT and Cal Arts for making Nicolas Rey’s visit possible.


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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