Impressions from Rustaveli at the 15th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

By Reviews, Screenings

Impressions from Rustaveli is inspired by the 12th century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, whose epic poem The Knight in Panther’s Skin is considered a masterpiece of Georgia’s national literature. The poem is dedicated to King Tamara, the first female ruler of the Kingdom of Georgia at the height of its power in the Middle Ages, and is a chivalric romance which nonetheless emphatically affirms equality between women and men.Georgian artist Nana Tchitchoua’s film reinvigorates Rustaveli’s writings, infusing them in a film collage with painting, drawing, costume and the performative cinematic language of filmmakers like Sergei Parajanov and Jack Smith. Actors in both traditional and ornamental costume gesture to the camera, frontally posed and holding objects, or otherwise interacting with each other while frame separations, solarisations and other analogue film techniques produce blurry, overlapping, impressionistic images. The filmmaker describes the work as a “glorification of love, beauty, friendship and nobility. It portrays the heroes and heroines whose radiant loveliness is represented in terms of bright celestial light”. A ghastly quality of image emerges, with actors’ bodies haloed with bright light.What emerges in Tchitchoua’s exotic, Byzantine images is an encounter between Western and Eastern cultures. Impressions from Rustaveli is more than a simple adaptation of a folk legend, the film expresses through image, sound, erotics and emotion what can’t quite be represented by words or painting. The language of the film is light in all its beauty and complication.

-Herb Shellenberger

Dream Corridors

By Exhibitions, Reviews

In the Presence of Absence – Introduction by H.W. MacDonald

The Dream Corridors are a philosophical idea belonging to a collective of artists known as the “Last Night Dreamers.” This collective was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 2011 by artist Nanuka Tchitchoua and her team of artistic and inventive collaborators. The Dream Corridors are a fictitious location where the dreams of living beings exist without interruption or disturbance. It is a place where dreams can be accessed, stored, created or left behind. The Dream Corridors begin in the mysterious parts of the body or brain where psychological and neurological forces are at work. The Corridors have no end. The conceived hallway extends from the body of the living being out into open space and the imagination. It is an abstract place with a strong, definitive identity.


SAMOVAR Film Review

By Reviews


Which film is more important, a formula movie that doubles and triples its multimillion investment into more millions of dollars, or a low-budget indie which generate profit as frequently as Las Vegas gaming machines release fortunes out of their greedy mouths, or zero-budget “sub indies,” mostly seen by friends and business associates? If the answer seems obvious, then think again. Box office numbers are not the only success meters. For instance, aesthetics ignores these numbers altogether. Instead, it looks for the miraculous presence of something indefinable that touches human hearts. From this point of view, the success of an artistic creation is measured by it’s ability to lift a soul above its daily concerns into a higher realm of finer energies — closer to God and His angels. This phenomenon has a name – catharsis, in Greek – katharsis. According to Oxford dictionary, it means “purification of the emotions by vicarious experience,” in other words, cleansing by co-experiencing hero’s challenges, pain and suffering. The tricky part is that there are no success recipes, creators really cannot tell how they caught viewers’ attention, and it really doesn’t matter who the heroes are – masters or slaves, saints or sinners, or a bunch a murderers as in Hamlet, or if heroine is a prostitute as in La Dame Aux Camelias.

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