This collaborative work between controversial novelist/playwright Vladimir Sorokin and young filmmaker Khrzhanovsky comes on like a film possessed, constantly morphing into surreal forms as it careers through its different characters, styles and themes.
Two men and a woman meet in a Moscow bar and weave extravagant lies about their lives, setting in motion a ruthless, relentless journey into the dark corners of modern Russia. Mass conformity, cloning and genetic manipulation represent the challenges to individual identity here, pushing humanity into the margins.
The resultant pile-up of nightmares - poetic, grotesque, perplexing - may seem random but Sorokin and Khrzhanovsky impose order on the disorder with their forceful formal authority; it's quite clear that something is going on - even if we don't know what it is. 4 is a radical, urgent vision that relentlessly pushes us into the darkest corners of modern Russia.