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Pirosmani (1969)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 343 users  
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The story of self-taught Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani.

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(as Giorgi Shengelaya)

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, (as Giorgi Shengelaya)
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Title: Pirosmani (1969)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Avtandil Varazi ...
Nico Pirosmanichvili
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dodo Abashidze
Givi Aleksandria ...
(as Givi Aleqsandria)
Spartak Bagashvili
Teimuraz Beridze
Kote Daushvili
Margo Gvaramadze
Amir Kakabadze
Zurab Kapianidze ...
(as Zura Qapianidze)
Rosalia Mintshin
Z. Qaldani
Aleqsandre Rekhviashvili
Nino Seturidze
Boris Tsipuria
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Storyline

The story of self-taught Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani.

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Biography

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Release Date:

15 May 1972 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

O laikos zografos Pirosmani  »

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User Reviews

 
Georgia's national Artist
15 September 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A beautiful film: it depicts Pirosmani's life from early manhood in a series of scenes. Pirosmani- a famous primitive artist and Georgian hero- himself is played by Avtandil Varazi, an expert on the artist who acted as art adviser as well. He plays Pirosmani as becoming concerned almost entirely with his work, abandoning family and friends, moving away from humanity, uninterested in others- there are scenes where he is shown in inns, sitting alone, eating and drinking in exchange for a painting, uninterested in the people around him, turning down opportunities to be with them. The scenes which perhaps show his relationship with the public are one where he is locked in a room and told "You don't come out 'til we've got a painting.". The camera moves to outdoor celebrations- a strange set of scenes, including traditionally-dressed Georgians dancing a traditional dance to "modern" music on a horn gramophone, regardless of the music's relevance. "Oops" someone says "We've forgotten Piosmani." and we see him inside the door of the room, the painting, a view of Tiflis, completed. The other shows him taken up by the upper classes: one young painter is almost silent, just stares at the paintings and later brings him money for paint, but there is a scene of local dignitaries making speeches to which Pirosmani's response is just to ask for a wooden building where people can show pictures and talk. Later, when he is the victim of a caricature in the paper, he cannot understand the reason for it.

Is there a Georgian school or style of film-making? Like Paradjanov, the greatest Georgian director, but not quite so strongly, there are deliberate, formal, pageant-like scenes and little concern for set-realism- Pirosmani's shop is shown in an empty landscape, rather than the city, for example, and the inns he works in are consciously shown as parts of a set. Scenes are deliberately staged theatrically, with the camera a fixed, distanced spectator. Perhaps the way Pirosmani painted is reflected in turn in the way the film is made. The cast- amateurs mostly- do not act the characters so much as "be" them in a Bresson-like way. A fine and unusual film about a fine artist in short.

Update, March 2010: Watching all of Paradjanov's films- including a short about Pirosmani made many years after this film- I'm inclined to think that the resemblances may derive from Pirosmani's influence on Paradjanov.


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