This little known film is quite strange yet well worth watching. Made in 1969, it tells the story of one Nico Pirosmanishvilli or Pirosmani, a primitive Georgian painter, not very well known in the west, who lived at the turn of the last century. The movie shows his paintings (I must admit I was not terribly impressed by them), his proud poverty, his antisocial behavior. A lot of the movie is shot in sparse, mildly surreal tableaux. When he sets up a shop with his brother, for example, it is not located in the city, but in the middle of a plain. There are some fine shots of the old, dilapidated quarters of Tbilissi, where Pirosmani lived since middle age, barely making ends meet by painting in taverns. I don't know if there is a Caucasian school of film-making, but this film suggests a saner, decaffeinated Paradjanov (who, as a matter of fact, did film a short about Pirosmani).
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