There’s a new website making the rounds online today, dau.xxx. It contains a peculiar video, a trailer of sorts, that alludes to an “experiment” at an “institute” involving many people giving up their real lives and moving into a 1950s-style fake town in the Ukraine for years. Their ranks apparently included famous artists, scientists, and criminals. Their lives were constantly recorded; some 700 hours of footage were apparently created. And now the results of all that work are coming out ... somehow.

The specifics are vague (the website mentions only events taking place in Berlin, London, and Paris) but this is clearly Dau, the already legendary experimental film from director Ilya Khrzhanovsky. The first major article about Dau appeared in 2011 in GQ, which described what could be “the most expansive, complicated, all-consuming film project ever attempted” filmed in a full-scale fake city. Apparently a biopic of the life of physicist Lev Landau, Dau had already been in development for five years at that point, and it wouldn’t appear in any form for at least seven more.

Last year, The Telegraph published an update that included details about how the producers hoped to make “feature films, TV series and a slate of science and art documentaries, as well as a trans-media project,” out of the 700 hours of footage they had collected in the two years their Institute was open. The Dau website video specifically mentions 13 feature films that will soon be “experienced” by people interested in “the experiment.”

There’s not much more information than that, along with an opportunity to sign up for a mailing list and a release date, “Autumn 2018.” Whatever this thing ultimately is, its backstory alone will make it one of the film events of the fall, if not the year. Or maybe even the decade. And definitely read the rest of that GQ article; it is wild.

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