Hard to Be a God

Director: Aleksey German
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 2.0

According to the synopsis, this is about a team of scientists who travel to an Earth-like planet trapped in a primal/Medieval state ... and that's essentially where the storyline ends. What remains is a black-and-white three-hour tour through a wasteland where the characters, all huddled in front of the camera, proceed to vomit, spit, blow snot, bleed, urinate and defecate all over each other (often smelling the fluids and remarking how foul they are) while "lead God" Don Rumata (Leonid Yarmolnik) grumbles pseudo-philosophical nonsense (often while behaving like a depraved lunatic). While virtually plot-less, it does deserve some degree of credit for being one of the most visually distinctive and idiosyncratically stylized movies I've ever seen (German shoots in extreme close-up and dangles various objects directly in front of the camera) and an endurance test for the audience (and the audience's gag reflexes) to subject itself to the seemingly endless displays of squalor (which I'm going to assume is a shallow allegory for life in Czar Putin's Russia). This took German years to work on (and he never technically completed it, having passed away in 2014) so it was clearly a labor of sludge; all those wind and rain machines must have cost a fortune.