Darezhan Omirbaev

Chouga, 2008

A transposition of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to the modern day city of Almaty, Darezhan Omirbaev’s Chouga revisits the urban alienation of Killer to create a spare and charming, if diluted exposition on the role of fate, materialism, and moral bankruptcy in post-Soviet society. The idea of an economic-driven natural selection is foretold in an… read more »

The Road, 2001

If the visual expression of artistic process in Federico Fellini’s surreal and reflexive film, 8 1/2 were to be distilled into the spare, elemental cinema of Abbas Kiarostami, the result would likely be similar to Darezhan Omirbaev’s evocatively muted, endearing, innately affectionate, and poetic film, The Road. A pensive director named Amir Kobessov (played by… read more »

Killer, 1998

An early episode in Killer shows a highly distinguished and mild-mannered research director of the Institute of Mathematics named Professor Kassymov hopelessly lost in the labyrinth of a broadcasting station office building, unable to find the main exit after completing a taped guest interview for a radio program entitled In Your Own Time. The understatedly… read more »

Kardiogramma, 1995

In the rural Soviet-era Kazakh village of Bazarba├» in the Kzylordinskye district, a reticent and impassive boy named Jasulan (Jasulan Asauov) watches his father ride away on horseback into the arid frontier before sneaking into the utility shed, activating the house portable generator, and returning to the living room – past the silent, disapproving gaze… read more »

Kaïrat, 1992

A lone, mischievous village boy (Jasulan Asauov) unproductively roams around the vast, desolate steppes of Kazakhstan scrawling infinite parallel lines around the exterior walls of a disused way station. He walks up to the side of the railroad tracks at the sight of an approaching train, picks up a nearby rock, and inexplicably hurls the… read more »

July, 1988

Darezhan Omirbaev’s penchant for spare, elliptical narrative, muted figures, and disembodied framing (most notably, of hands and feet) have often been (favorably) compared to the rigorous aesthetic of Robert Bresson. However, in imposing such a somber – and inescapably cerebral – analogy, there is also a propensity to overlook the wry, self-effacing humor and irony… read more »