Low Fidelity, Valja Krutikov’s new mixed-media film, doesn’t offer clean resolutions or pre-packaged lessons.
Instead, the film centres on conversations, both mundane and endlessly relatable. As a rain-soaked paradise unfolds in the background, fusing the decaying and the decedent of Brooklyn and St Petersburg, characters talk about jobs, love, drugs, music, and an overriding sense of ennui in candid reflections on what it means to feel both young and lost.
The 30-minute, lo-fi cartoon is the first episode of an ongoing series by Valja, a musician, artist, and founder of the Saint-Brooklynsburg indie music label. Among the protagonists of the film is Sarah Persephona, vocalist of Angelic Milk, a local shoegaze-inspired band with an extensive following in Europe and Japan.
Low Fidelity creates a reality that acts as a replacement for the world that Valja can’t change. Saint-Brooklynsburg has given life to the St Petersburg indie DIY scene since 2012, but Valja says that he had found it increasingly hard to resist the consumerist-driven local music scene. He took a break from work to complete the film instead. Romantic and innocent, with a somewhat audacious feel, the cartoon has the feel of Vice’s Yuri Norstein, mixing in the mixed media visuals that Valja has collected for more than a decade.
Low Fidelity may not offer clarity or clear answers — but in doing so, channels ever more closely the feeling of life itself.