Thursday 16 June 2011

Yuri Gadyukin's The Graven Idol

If you've never heard of the Russian director, Yuri Gadyukin, you should try and find out more about his films. With a mix of satire and the new social realism that was coming into cinema in the late 1950s. Yuri is best know for his last, unfinished, film, The Graven Idol.

With the upcoming film that shows a filmmakers efforts to finish his unfinished [some may say unfinishable] film. It seems that the director was ahead of his time if you watch the below footage. It was found when George Lewis was in London looking through archival material. It seems to be part of an un-broadcast interview that Yuri gave in either 1959 or 1960 (the date is unknown).

When George Lewis, a hip young movie director, visits the Chipperfield archive he discovers the rushes of the last movie by his personal hero, the Russian filmmaker Yuri Gadyukin. Gadyukin, a charismatic dictator of a director, came to London in the late 1950s. His film “The Graven Idol” was abandoned when Gadyukin was murdered by lead actor Harry Weathers. George gets the support of a Hollywood studio and, with the help of a crew lead by Producer Emily and Editor Kate, starts to reconstruct Gadyukin’s film.

Through the eyes of a “making of” documentary we see George and his crew sift through the hundreds of hours of improvised material that Gadyukin shot. Meanwhile Emily investigates the circumstances of Gadyukin’s death. But neither project proves to be all that it seems.

Gadyukin’s film is either the work of a genius or a madman. Kate and George struggle with the myriad plots and subplots that seem to spiral out of control. In doing so, closeness develops between them, threatening Kate’s marriage. Meanwhile, the crew of “The Graven Idol” prove tightlipped about a project that ended most of their careers. Even investigation into the circumstances of Gadyukin’s death raises more questions than it answers.

With the studio putting on pressure for results, George and his team find themselves being drawn into a web of madness that takes over their lives. Can they unravel the mystery of “The Graven Idol” before history repeats itself?

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