David Knight - 22nd May 2018

For this latest video for Leningrad, Ilya Naishuller has changed things up a little - this one is animated. But don't worry, it's still trademark Naishuller, and therefore superlatively hyperactive and, of course, eyewateringly violent.

It's a sci-fi scenario in futuristic Japan where the reigning gangster overlords are challenged by a trio of super-gifted kung-fu-enabled assassins. An explosive turf war ensues to the strains of the Russian rock band's Ju-Ju, complete with the old gangster's flashback to the key moment of his corruption. It's clear who has the good juju - but for how long, before the real boss shows up?     

This gore-spattered action comes in the style of a superior kids' TV cartoon, with Naishuller working with Gluk’oza Animation and HONK FU Studio in Russia. 

"I've never had the chance to direct animation but have always wanted to," Naishuller has said. "I jumped at the opportunity to expand my horizons on this project. The freedom that animation gives you is incredibly exciting. I decided to stay away from just going crazy with the 'camera' though and boarded it like I would have done if I was shooting live action. I didn’t want to lose that ‘filmic’ quality and wanted to be able to tell a fairly complex story as clearly as I possibly could."

Naishuller's third video for the band, Leningrad’s frontman Sergei Snurov gave him creative freedom with this, perhaps not surprisingly after the worldwide success of his video for Kolshik last year - winner of two Cannes Lions, two D&AD Pencils and an UKMVA. 

"The song is a humorous deconstruction of everyday jealousy, so I based the script on the same premise," explains Naishuller. "However, as I always tend to do, I stayed the hell away from illustrating lyrics instead I worked within their themes. I had an absolute blast working with and learning from the very talented and driven animation team when it came to bringing it to life."

And however violent it gets, it's still not as upsetting as Bambi.


DirectorIlya Naishuller
ProducerAlexander Chistyakov
Animation ProducerDenis Pisarev
2D Animation & Character DesignAnna Cattish
Lead AnimatorIlya Shekiladze
CompositorPavel Mira
Production CompanyGluk’oZa Animation
Production CompanyHonk Fu
Production CompanyGreat Guns

David Knight - 22nd May 2018

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