Awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 41st Venice International Film Festival, this absurdist comedy, with its sprawling cast of crooks, thieves, anarchists, prostitutes, chief inspectors, ...
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Awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 41st Venice International Film Festival, this absurdist comedy, with its sprawling cast of crooks, thieves, anarchists, prostitutes, chief inspectors, art dealers, and inventors, calls to mind the bustling tapestries of Robert Altman. The story revolves around two objects, a rare set of 18th-century Limoges china, and a 19th century aristocratic portrait. As these items are passed, sold, or stolen from one character to another, a giddy round dance of excess begins to take shape, one which suggests that if history doesn't repeat itself, it certainly rhymes. Together with co-writer Gérard Brach, whose other co-writing credits include Repulsion and Tess, Otar Iosseliani uses a feather-light touch to expose the futility of class and social order, making a bagatelle of the concerns of rich and poor alike. Written by
I caught this extraordinary think-piece in a rep house (remember them?) in the late '80s -- and was struck by how such a tremendous film could be so little-known. In following the complex activities of a bunch of seemingly-unrelated Parisians, Soviet-Georgian-born director Otar Iosseliani does indeed suggest a world wider than any one city could contain. It's like watching a beehive, with a cast of crazies and/or criminals buzzing around manically, mostly missing one another but occasionally intersecting. In this, Favorites of the Moon somewhat recalls Nashville, Short Cuts, and Magnolia -- yet Iosseliani is less interested in "explaining" and tying-up loose ends than either Altman or Anderson. He just presents these people and their peculiar doings (some of which are very, very funny), then lets viewers figure it all out for themselves. Fascinating!
In fact, the only complaint I have about Favorites of the Moon is how difficult it is to find!
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