MEET THE FILMMAKER: Evgueni Mlodik.
Russian-born filmmaker Evgueni Mlodik’s latest short film, Christmas Eve ’45, has been described as a Nazi sexploitation movie. And it mentions Christmas. Those two things alone more than qualifies it to play as part of the Holiday-themed Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) December 20th down at The Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo St.).
EFP Host Patrick Sheridan recently caught up with Evgueni to talk about the movie and why he became a filmmaker. Perhaps we should have explored his obsession with nuns in greater detail.
P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker?
E.M.: Since I could remember, it was a passion of mine. I grew up in Russia, right after the wall came down and we saw an influx of Western films, including many classics. I remember seeing all the old great American films and then-new blockbusters for the first time and being completely floored by a whole new world of cinema. That was when I first realized my calling was to make films. In time, I moved to America and felt that it’s a sign that I’m meant to be a part of these amazing films I grew up with. It sometimes take a big battle to get my films made, but my passion to create cinema is truly my first priority in life and the one true way I can express myself.
P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? What was the inspiration behind it?
E.M.: You will be seeing my latest film, Christmas Eve ’45, which was originally a production III film school project that ended up going rogue. It is essentially my own personal study of a movie trend very popular during the 70s: reconciling sexual and political deviance. The story is freely adapted from a 19th story gothic Italian story dealing with a sickly man’a repressed guilt and loss. I felt such a storyline would be perfect set in a post-WWII world, which itself was filled to the rim with guilt and loss, especially in Europe after the Nazi atrocities were at last revealed. I didn’t strive for total historical accuracy of Germany circa the 1940s, but for a stylized version of that place that portrays a society running a fever; where the Nazi imagery is fetishized and such familiar paraphernalia as the swastika and the eagle become visual representations of the perversion of the masses. I felt that a film about depravity has to be a depraved film and that in order to properly convey the reality of regular Germans over that horrific 12 year period within one short film, I had to use exaggerated symbols instead of characters and I’m proud to say my fantastic cast pulled it off.
P.S.: What else are you working on?
E.M.: I’m currently finishing pre-production on my thesis film at Regis University, which in some ways is connected to Christmas Eve ’45 and its exploration of intimate German society during WWII. The film, a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, is heavily influenced by and modeled after old German melodramas and musicals made by UFA after the film industry’s hostile takeover by Joseph Goebbels. No, there were never any Nazis or Nazi imagery in those films, in fact, most of them are rather harmless, but they all possess a hypnotic aura of the macabre, probably the reflection of the regime they were made under and are deeply rooted in German Expressionism. I found that combination to be very intoxicating and feel it would be an excellent companion piece to Christmas Eve ’45.
P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
E.M.: The can always find information on my work on IMDb and my YouTube channel:
My last film and my upcoming one have their own Facebok Page.
P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
E.M.: EFP is an excellent resource and is fantastic way for local filmmakers to connect and explore each other’s work. I look forward to be seeing all the great films our local artists create!
P.S.: Thanks, Evgueni! See you there!