ARKADYA is a short piece based on the life of my father with him acting in the lead role. It was shot entirely on location in Brooklyn, New York and incorporates old VHS footage from Odessa, Ukraine. It is a film that deals with the passage of time, family, failure, success, and how we choose to arrange our hierarchical system of priorities in a modern world and what effect this has on the life around us. More than that it is a deeply personal film made as a message to a father with whom real, intimate communication did not exist, and to whom I have always felt I had so much to say. I hope you enjoy it.
Danik Valkovsky, an aging, Russian-born, American businessman goes through the regiment of his day, haunted by images from his past. With his life in a state of flux, with office and home in perpetual renovation, he sinks further into the remembrance of things gone by.
-One of the winners at Hammer to Nail's July Short Film Contest judged by Sundance's Mike Plante, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" writer/director Benh Zeitlin, and filmmaker Levi Abrino:
"Alexander Kaluzhsky’s drama couldn’t be further away from Azazel Jacobs’ Momma’s Man in a stylistic sense, but it nonetheless shares that film’s spirit with its creatively autobiographical filmmaking vision. Not only does Kaluzhsky incorporate archival video footage of his father living in the Ukraine into Arkadya, but he casts him in the role of an aging businessman living in present day Brooklyn, who is coming to terms with the uncompromising and unforgiving passage of time. Arrestingly photographed by Noah Greenberg, Arkadya plays like a slow-burn thriller, yet the real drama here is all internal. Kaluzhsky boldly includes his off-camera voice on the soundtrack at two crucial and unexpected moments in the film, in order to remind us that, yes, this is a movie, but it’s also real life." (MIchael Tully; Hammertonail.com)
"A fascinating glimpse into one man's Ukrainian past and Brooklyn present, crisp HiDef intercuts with fleeting VHS images of what felt like yesterday but was actually 25 years ago. The film is directed by Alexander Kaluzhsky and the subject is his own father, who is photographed with great regard but from a distance. It's a heartbreaking work sent as a message, a call for intimate communication. But the father, who is in his 60's, is still busy with work, a businessman dealing with everyday matters of managing contractors and paying the always mounting bills. All you can think of is how fast time passes and how there's never time for anything. The camera is constantly floating through spaces, time is constantly shifting. You have to really watch and listen and absorb, but if you do, a sacred thing is in full view. Perhaps human existence itself, with all its disappointments and annoyances and memories, especially memories. Such a simple film, but so rich. Masterfully shot and composed."
(Kentucker Audley; NoBudge.com)
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