6 items from 2011
Directors: Vladan Nikolic
Writers: Vladan Nikolic
Review by: Ben Austwick
Rating: 2 out of 10
There.s nothing wrong with being pretentious if you.ve got the intellect and ideas to back it up. Why not rewrite the rulebook and sneer at those around you if what you.re doing is better than everyone else? But it really has to be very good, otherwise you.re going to come over a complete idiot.
This confusing and badly-written film is set in the near future, where a population genetically modified into a permanent state of happiness seek out black market drugs just so they can feel something, even if that feeling is pain. Jack is a drug dealer, inhabiting a familiar underground of graffitied streets and sterile, gothy raves, who uncovers a murky conspiracy explained in a series of numbered tapes, discoveries of which introduce each chapter of the film. »
As Vladan Nikolic’s Zenith continues its slow roll-out — finishing its U.S. screenings while premiering on Amazon and iTunes — I thought I’d post on the blog this piece on the film that originally ran in slightly different form in our Winter, 2011 issue.
“What is Zenith?” was the question posed on About Top Secret and other conspiracy-related websites last Spring. Paranoid-minded posters jumped in and followed a breadcrumb-trail of online clues relating to everything from the Bavarian Illuminati and fluoridated drinking water to biochemistry and the New World Order. They clicked through a maze of 50 other websites (priestoftruth.com, endoftheworldcountdown.us, stopzenith.com), trolled search engines, and finally came across a stash of “illegal” tapes posted on YouTube by one Ed Crowley, whose own site dated back to 2008 and seemed to be filled with standard issue anti-Obama birther invective.
So far so normal in the Glenn Beck Nation. But »
- Scott Macaulay
I'm not sure exactly how to quantify or explain Zenith to the unitiated, but writer/director Vladan Nikolic's dystopian nightmare is hitting iTunes, and it's certainly a curious movie. Its IMDb page describes it as "A retro-futuristic steam-punk thriller, about two men in two time periods, whose search for the same grand conspiracy leads them to question their own humanity." And admittedly, all those parts are in it, but it's also something else entirely involving perpetual self-medication (through pain, no less) wrapped up in seemingly unbreakable patterns of self-destruction. If the psychic barrier of entry doesn't seem too high, I'd advise you to check out this micro-budget thriller, if for no other reason than that it's damned different and a lot strange. iTunes Link. »
The low-budget science-fiction thriller Zenith—credited as “a film by anonymous,” but written, directed, and produced by Vladan Nikolic—is both a movie and an experiment in world-building. Set in a not-too-distant future where human beings have been genetically modified to be happy, Zenith stars Peter Scanavino as an epileptic whose spells of misery let him access the secret knowledge that his numbed fellow citizens have lost. Through his connections in an underground ring of pain-dealing drug lords, Scanavino begins to collect videotapes made decades ago by his father (Jason Robards III), a former Catholic priest whose life changed when »
With the Sundance Film Festival set to begin Thursday, filmmakers must decide the best approach for standing out in the crowd. A strategy worth considering is found in "Zenith," a film that has had virtually no festival exposure but begins its theatrical release Jan. 19. Directed by Serbian-American filmmaker Vladan Nikolic, science-fiction thriller "Zenith" alternately takes place in the year 2044 and the present day. Nikolic imagines a bleak future »
Welcome to the year 2044, as envi sioned by the sci- fi thriller "Ze nith." The popu lace has been genetically altered to be happy all the time -- but that creates what one character calls "permanent numbness." To feel alive, people seek pain through the side effects of out-of-date prescription drugs. Only then are they truly happy. Directed by Siberian-born New Yorker Vladan Nikolic, "Zenith" stars Peter Scanavino as a drug dealer, Jason Robards III as his deceased dad and »
- By V.A. MUSETTO
6 items from 2011
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