NEFORMAT is a documentary focusing on Moscow's underground music scene. This scene may be hard to find, but is certainly not fast asleep. Ignored by radio stations and record companies, Moscow's neformat ("non-mainstream") bands have managed to combine Russia's singer-songwriter tradition with western underground influences. The result: intense music, honest lyrics and energetic live performances. The documentary NEformat features the Moscow-based bands Uly, Sedmaya Rasa and Deti Khurmy. Uly, a band playing pop-punk, have already released three albums but are still "widely known only in narrow circles". The reason is not a lack of talent, but an almost bankrupt record company. The leader of Sedmaya Rasa, a band playing grunge with more serious and reflective lyrics, came all the way from Kazakhstan to rock out on Moscow's club stages, but now has to produce food for cosmonauts to support himself. In the meanwhile the members of Deti Khurmy, based in Moscow's endless bleach suburbs, are playing straight forward rap-metal; they're fighting against not only Russia's political system but also falling apart motorcycles and amplifiers. Each band is shown in a different cinematic style. NEFORMAT is a unique showcase for a scene known by few outside Russia. 2002. The Netherlands/Russia. 50'. Directed, shot, written and edited by: Jan Jaap Kuiper

    May 14, 2009