During research for a film project I came across the documentary “Kvadrat” by Anatoly K. Ivanov. The film follows Russian DJ Andrey Pushkarev to gigs in Russia, Romania, Switzerland, France and Hungary. The tagline of the film is: “A documentary about the realities of techno-DJing”, which seem to be rather sad. We often see Pushkarev travelling by himself or spending time alone in his hotel room. But even when he is DJing in clubs, Pushkarev seems to be an outsider. Anatoly Ivanov – who also photographed the film – finds powerful images to illustrate Pushkarev isolation at the parties, showing the DJ completely focused and lost in his work while the crowd around him is getting completely crazy. I liked the aesthetic approach of the film: very few dialogue, no talking heads, but a vigorous soundtrack selected and mixed by Pushkarev himself.
The visual style and especially the editing of the film very much distinguishes from the tons of Resident Advisor and Slices features that are flooding the internet nowadays, which basically all look the same and most of the time show serious lacks in storytelling. In contrast to this, “Kvadrat” is a character-driven film, which successfully captures the ambiguity of the techno- and club-world, the magic of the music as well as the disillusioning moments once the party is over.
Anatoly Ivanov uploaded the film on Vimeo where you can watch it for free: