In a not too distant post-apocalyptic future a hungry chef finds himself with limited access to fresh proteins. All that changes, however, when a Spanish-speaking Russian time traveler happens to drop into his time zone. This is the premise of Chilean short film Strogonoff, one that will likely tickle your belly but temper your appetite, and make you briefly question your love of meat.
Because the film takes place in 1955 and Vlado, the Russian time-traveler, has wandered 100 years into the future, the film has a warm and lightly saturated look. It opens with a series of overhead shots that detail the meticulous preparation of an omelet, but one that unfortunately must be made from canned eggs. Womp, womp. The set-design shows a lot of creativity given a minimal budget, with household appliances and digital clocks blinking, beeping, and standing in for cutting edge time/space travel technology. There are no English subtitles but you won’t need them for this one; the camera does all the work for you here.
Chilean filmmaker Esteban Rojas is the writer-director. At thirteen years old he was making short films with his cousins and since then has been largely self-taught. He notes filmmakers like Peter Jackson and Kevin Smith as influences. Released in 2008, Strogonoff won best director and best film at the Santiago Rojo Film Festival. Rojas has gone on to direct four feature films including La casa por la ventana and a feature-length documentary titled La experiencia de la barriga. He currently resides in Buenos Aires, where he works as an editor and producer as well.