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Synopsis

This Soviet film is a biography of the Georgian artist Niko Pirosmanishvili (1863-1918), usually known as Pirosmani. It won awards from the British Film Institute and the Chicago Film Festival.

Pirosmani died of starvation, unable to sell any of his works for sufficient money to support life. Ironically, his primitivist style was later very much in fashion, and huge sums were paid for his surviving paintings. This well-regarded film focuses on Pirosmani’s everyday life in the Georgia of his time, and is photographed in a bold style which echoes the artist’s vision and causes the viewer to enter into it. This is necessary, because little factual material about the artist was available; most of his biography was composed of legends and recorded gossip.

Director Giorgi Shengelaia avoids the usual clichés of films about artists’ lives, successfully experimenting with colour control techniques based on the painter’s style. Avtandil Varazi plays the gentle, uncompromising artist who sold his paintings to bars and restaurants for food and drink, and worked mostly in solitude.

Shengelaia’s film constructs a series of impressionistic tableaux from incidents in Pirosmani’s life. Each tableau takes its style from Piarosmani’s own paintings, with simple lines and pastel colors, figures poised suggestively in space, and further resonance derived from references to the work of the French impressionists.

Director
Giorgi Shengelaia

(b. 1937) is a Georgian film director who has directed 14 films since 1961. He is known for „Pirosmani” (1969), „Veris ubnis melodiebi” (1974) and „The Journey of a Young Composer” (1985) which was entered into the Berlin International Film Festival where he won the Silver Bear for Best Director.

Filmography
  • Matsi Khvitia (1966)
  • Pirosmani (1969)
  • Veris ubnis melodiebi (1974)
  • Khareba da Gogia (1987)
  • Orpeosis sikvdili (1996)
  • Midioda matarebeli (2005)
Wed, 21.11.2018
7:00 pm
Tallinn, 
Kino Artis
Hall 2
061506
Screening code: 061506
Film info
Country: Georgia
Year: 1969
Duration: 105 minutes
Languages: Russian, Georgian, French
Director: Giorgi Shengelaia
DOP: Alexander Rekhviashvili
Montage: Manana Karalashvili
Composers: Nodar Gabunia, Vakhtang Kukhianidze
Cast:  Avtandil Varazi, Dodo Abashidze, Zurab Kapianidze
Production: Georgian National Film Center
Synopsis

This Soviet film is a biography of the Georgian artist Niko Pirosmanishvili (1863-1918), usually known as Pirosmani. It won awards from the British Film Institute and the Chicago Film Festival.

Pirosmani died of starvation, unable to sell any of his works for sufficient money to support life. Ironically, his primitivist style was later very much in fashion, and huge sums were paid for his surviving paintings. This well-regarded film focuses on Pirosmani’s everyday life in the Georgia of his time, and is photographed in a bold style which echoes the artist’s vision and causes the viewer to enter into it. This is necessary, because little factual material about the artist was available; most of his biography was composed of legends and recorded gossip.

Director Giorgi Shengelaia avoids the usual clichés of films about artists’ lives, successfully experimenting with colour control techniques based on the painter’s style. Avtandil Varazi plays the gentle, uncompromising artist who sold his paintings to bars and restaurants for food and drink, and worked mostly in solitude.

Shengelaia’s film constructs a series of impressionistic tableaux from incidents in Pirosmani’s life. Each tableau takes its style from Piarosmani’s own paintings, with simple lines and pastel colors, figures poised suggestively in space, and further resonance derived from references to the work of the French impressionists.

Director
Giorgi Shengelaia

(b. 1937) is a Georgian film director who has directed 14 films since 1961. He is known for „Pirosmani” (1969), „Veris ubnis melodiebi” (1974) and „The Journey of a Young Composer” (1985) which was entered into the Berlin International Film Festival where he won the Silver Bear for Best Director.

Filmography
  • Matsi Khvitia (1966)
  • Pirosmani (1969)
  • Veris ubnis melodiebi (1974)
  • Khareba da Gogia (1987)
  • Orpeosis sikvdili (1996)
  • Midioda matarebeli (2005)