SYNDROMES

OF MIMICRY:

 

A Visual Case Study

By Anastasija

Piroženko

I.

On the eve of becoming “the brightest” new EU member, Lithuanian citizens are following they mundane, day-to-day routine and their attempts to understand and adopt Western-like-life. In the series of satirical sketches, this film examines the mimicking behavior in social, political and cultural field of the post-soviet state – Lithuania.

II.

Synopsis

While the state is busy preparing to celebrate a new historical event, the working class is drowned in their routine and mundane boredom. Enthusiasm has vanished long time ago, now only a feeling of apathy remains.

 

Anastasija Pirozenko’s “Syndromes Of Mimicry” examines the concept of imitative behavior in a post-Soviet nation’s day-to-day life. What is it like to gain the recognition and appreciation of the West? Will a pompous light show bring happiness and prosperity to the people’s lives?

 

Rather than bringing laughter, “Syndromes Of Mimicry” shares satirical qualities and puts forth a criticism of the blind Westernization processes and lack of authenticity in post-Soviet Lithuania. It invites the viewer to rethink the present state in the nation’s tedious life.

 

III.

Making of

Photo: Dalia Mikonytė & Aurimas Matulaitis

IV.

Director's intention

After proclaiming independence in 1990, Lithuania went through the transformative process, when for the first time in 50 years the borders were open for the Western society. This brought a feeling of freedom and unlimited possibilities, introducing unseen, colourful products, and an overwhelming sense of the well-being and the liberating Western life-style. Westernisation became the new measure of legitimacy! At that time a Eurocentric child was born, who attempted to shake off the post-Soviet past.

 

The aesthetics of mimicry comes from a desire to be accepted, in this case the desire to be accepted by the Western world. Voluntary westernisation (self-colonization) has been followed by mimicking the cultural, social and political structures of the West. Nevertheless, if we approach mimicry as the new aesthetics, or our own aesthetics, it might become a tool for creating national identity. For this reason, the post-Soviet nations can apply their syndrome of compensatory behavior, as the mockery or rather our own version of the West!

 

I tried to develop a script that would effectively be a replica of a society we are living, a slightly exaggerated version of an existing mimicry in Lithuanian daily life. I aimed to infuse a feeling of a routine into those mimicking actions. I aimed to employ humor to address modern political and social realities, mocking their vices.

 

The film is built from four main mise-en-scène, where the boundary between the boredom and the humorous twist blends together. I tried to create a feeling of stiffness in the environment and the actions film's characters are executing. I intended to make the passage of time very obvious, stagnant, filled with banality.

 

V.

Crew & Cast

DIRECTOR & SCRIPT

Anastasija Piroženko

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Edgaras Kordiukovas

 

1st CAMERA ASSISTANT

Ainis Stankaitis

 

2nd CAMERA ASSISTANT

Tomas Šereika

 

EDITOR

Anastasija Piroženko

Stella Van Voorst Van Beest

 

SET DESIGN

Tomas Šereika

Grigory Kutsenko

 

FOLEY  & SOUND DESIGN

Ronnie Van Der Veer

 

SOUND RECORDING

Vytautas Laniauskas

 

MUSIC

Matteo Canetta

 

ASSISTANT PRODUCER

Jūratė Šepetytė

 

MAKE UP ARTIST

Jovita Aukštakalnytė

 

SCRIPT ADVISER

Aliona Van Der Hoorst

 

BACKSTAGE PHOTO

Dalia Mikonytė

Aurimas Matulaitis

 

 

CAST

 

Aleksandras Aniukštis – Dancing Man

 

Dainius Juzva – Businessman

 

Toye Samson Abiodun - Hussar

 

Laima Užurkaitė - Equal Opportunities Ombudsman

 

Rimas Morkūnas – News Reporter

 

Darius Saženis – Singer

 

Denis Senin – Yoga Teacher

 

Eugenija Stakėnienė – Dancing Woman