Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Uzbek in the Mirror

October 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

Sorry about dropping the blogging ball this week. The quick trip to Florida made things rough, and I just remembered that the Grand Empress and I have a pressing appointment in Sunnyside today. When this post goes live, then, I’ll likely be on the 7 train, looking out at Five Pointz.

I’ll leave you, then, not with the usual Bad Movie Friday treatment, but rather with the animated Uzbek short above. It is the product of an state-sponsored industry in crisis, which is now looking to Bollywood to add some much-needed financial spark.

The few Uzbek filmmakers who remain manage to produce their art with what can charitably be descried as a modicum of resources:

Most of the Uzbek hits have been made for $30,000 to $50,000, and earned three to five times as much. The profits seem astounding for a country with an average monthly income of less than $50, where copyright piracy is ubiquitous, and most of the box-office revenues come from just a handful of cinemas in Tashkent.

It takes about two or three months to make a movie. Locations are few, and characters are easily recognizable. “The good guy must always be good, and the bad guy real bad,” said Ruslan Yarullin, a cinematographer and film editor. “Folks like love stories with twisty plots, discotheques, rapes and murders.”

Often a pop star or two, regardless of acting skills, play the leads – as they have money to invest, buzz to build and fans who will pay to see them on screen.

As you might imagine, I’m already thinking of ways to do post about the Uzbek pop-star scene.


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