Sometimes you run into a movie intense, so mindfucking unbelievable awesome it will change your world. Nails is like discovering Eraserhead or Tetsuo again - with a dash of Alphaville, a feverish, bizarre and very personal journey from Khabarovsk-based filmmaker and cat-lover Andrey Iskanov. Iskanov has been outside just outside my range of viewing for quite a while - even if I heard good stuff about Philosphy of a Knife and Visions of Suffering, so when I had the pleasure to watch it this weekend I couldn't say no. Nails is basically a story about a hitman (Alexander Shevchenko) who's kills slowly starts to creep up on his mind and he starts to hit nails into his head, to make the thoughts go away. But his state of mind becomes increasingly strange and surreal and soon he's not sure what's reality or not.
You know, it's totally impossible (at least for me) to recap the story of Nails, but I guess what I wrote above could be one way to interpret it. But Nails is more about visual madness and that weird idea that it seems to want to enter your mind with so many out of this world moments, rapid editing - I wonder if there's some subliminal messages hiding in there? - and an interesting mix of very, very good performance - especially from leading man Alexander Shevchenko - and more amateurish moments. Nails is a typical first movie, a first epic from a genius. It has the enthusastic experimental style almost all filmmakers began with, but like with Lynch and Cronenberg, Iskanov goes all the way, throwing away every idea of making a commercial, sellable production, and instead follows his own unique path.
As a genre movie it's quite hard to grasph, it's all over the place - which seems very deliberate. You have everything from weird hallucinations and dreams, gore and splatter, social realism, nudity and that wonderful form of pretentiousness that you can't dislike it. Nails IS art because it wants to be art and somewhere along the way it has something to say. I'm still not sure what or why or when or was - I need to watch it again sooner or later - but it's one of those flicks which stays in your mind for quite a while afterwards. Iskanov does something I admire very much: he films a story that actually needs a much bigger budget to attract the mainstream geeks out there, but he just doesn't give a shit! He makes HIS movie and he makes it the hard way. The ideas used is so far out, wow, I mean man, I wonder how this flick would be under the influences of some kind of mind-altering drug? Would it open doors previously locked? I have no damn idea, but I love, Love, LOVE Nails and now I can't fucking wait to work myself through Andrey Iskanov's filmography.
Andrey Iskanov's Nails is an unforgettable film about a dude hitting nails into his brain. It's so much more than an gory indie-movie. Nails places itself together with Eraserhead and Tetsuo in the shelf of awesome artyfartyness. And I'm sure Lemmy Caution is smiling somewhere, at this insane, fucked-up version of what could be Iskanov's version of Alphaville.