Eve bit the apple, Pandora opened the box, and for a certain generation of young Russians, the first taste of a certain, ambrosial nectar that we in the West call Pepsi did close to the same thing: unleash a desire that, once freed, could not be contained. In the caustic, Russian satire GENERATION P, one of the anointed, Babylen Tatarsky (Vladimir Yepifantsev) is so transported by the experience that when the Iron Curtain falls, he becomes a god of advertising, privy to the impulses that stir the Russian heart and soon a much-sought-after asset of organized crime, secret societies, and the literal machinery of government.
Director Victor Ginzburg brings a deadpan, Strangelovian ambiance to his adaptation of Victor Pelevin’s cult novel, and the result is a film that irresistibly draws you into its increasingly delirious world. I got to sit down with Ginzburg earlier this year, when GENERATION P screened during Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films program to talk about the four-year effort to transfer Pelevin’s fevered scenario to the screen. Click on the player to hear the interview.