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Heavy Metal, Iosselliani at the Rustavi Metal Works
Filmed in the Rustavi Metal Works where director Otar Iosselliani was working at the time still trying to raise money for his debut feature, Tudzhi, a short of 16 minutes, is not so much a documentary in the traditional sense of the term, we certainly discover nothing about the Rustavi Metal Works factory or the people working there, as it is an ode to the wonders of metallurgy, an intimate, fleeting glimpse on the hard lives of the workers. Tudzhi shows a gifted young director with an eye for composition capturing great shots in all their raw, b/w, 16mm glory in the best place to capture them, a steel factory. On one hand the slabs of concrete, rustling chains and hooks, scorching torrents of molten metal, billows of smoke seeping out of long chimneys, sootblack bricks; on the other hand, the workers cooking their lunch in a spit roast, smoking a cigarette perched on top of the rails, cleaning their clothes in a peculiar air turbine. Very Soviet in spirit, not a trace of propaganda. The only lamentable choice in an otherwise captivating little movie is the absence of a score in favour of very flimsy foley work that can't dream of coming close to the cacophony of sounds present in a steel factory.
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