Locarno 66 // Open Doors

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Don’t Look Into the Mirror, Suren Babayan


Questa sezione non competitiva presenta ogni anno una selezione di opere particolarmente rappresentative della cinematografia e del panorama culturale di una particolare regione. Quest’anno, verranno proiettate 22 opere provenienti da Armenia, Azerbaijan e Georgia.


A FOLD IN MY BLANKET by Zaza Rusadze – Georgia – 2013 – 73 min. Presentato dal regista
A STORY OF PEOPLE IN WAR AND PEACE by Vardan Hovhannisyan – Armenia – 2007 – 69 min.
BONDED PARALLELS by Hovhannes Galstyan – Armenia – 2009 – 90 min.
 Presentato dal regista
DON’T LOOK INTO THE MIRROR by Suren Babayan – Armenia – 2010 – 101 min.
EMBERS by Tamara Stepanyan – Armenia – 2012 – 77 min.
 Presentato dal regista
I’M GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME by Maria Saakyan – Armenia – 2012 – 102 min. Presentato dal regista
KEEP SMILING by Rusudan Chkonia – Georgia – 2011 – 90 min.
 Presentato dal regista
RETURN OF THE POET by Harutyun Khachatryan – Armenia – 2005 – 88 min.
 Presentato dal regista
SAROYANLAND by Lusin Dink – Armenia – 2013 – 72 min. Presentato dal regista
STRANGE TIMES by Huseyn Mehdiyev – Azerbaijan – 1996 – 85 min.
TBILISI-TBILISI by Levan Zaqareishvili – Georgia – 2005 – 107 min.
THE BAT by Ayaz Salayev – Azerbaijan – 1995 – 80 min.
 Presentato dal regista
THE BEACON by Fariz Ahmedov – Azerbaijan – 2012 – 28 min.
THE PRECINCT by Ilgar Safat – Azerbaijan – 2010 – 116 min.
 Presentato dal regista
WILL THERE BE A THEATRE UP THERE?! by Nana Janelidze – Georgia – 2011 – 55 min.
 Presentato dal regista
27 MISSING KISSES by Nana Djordjadze – Georgia – 2000 – 95 min.
13 TZAMETI by Géla Babluani – Georgia – 2005 – 93 min.

Artavazd Peleshian


BEGINNING by Artavazd Pelechian – Armenia (URSS) – 1967 – 10 min.
WE by Artavazd Pelechian – Armenia (URSS) – 1969 – 30 min.
OUR CENTURY by Artavazd Pelechian – Armenia (URSS) – 1982 – 50 min.
END by Artavazd Pelechian – Armenia – 1992 – 7 min.
LIFE by Artavazd Pelechian – Armenia – 1993 – 8 min.

 Return of the Poet, Harutyun Khachatryan

Armenian Cinema

With a tradition of national film production spanning 90 years and a solid reserve of classic films made by world-famous directors (H. Bek-Nazarov, S. Parajanov, A. Peleshian, H. Malyan, F. Dovlatyan), Armenian cinema entered the era of independence in the early 1990s with promising debuts and new names. Although the excitement of this initial period was short-lived as a result of the worsening economic crisis, we can definitely speak today of New Armenian Cinema as a cultural phenomenon.

Some films in this New Armenian Cinema were built around either allegorical generalizations (Suren Babayan’s Crazy Angel, Jeano andDon’t Look Into the Mirror; Mikayel Dovlatyan’s Labyrinth and EdgarBaghdasaryan’s Mariam) or unembellished representation of the reality of life (Harutyun Khachatryan’s Documentarist, Return of the Poet and Endless Escape, Eternal Return; David Safaryan’s Lost Paradise). Others combined both approaches in an interesting way, as in Vigen Chaldranyan’s God, Have Mercy, Symphony of Silence andThe Voice of Silence,Narine Mkrtchyan & Arsen Azatyan’s Radio Yerevan and Bobo, or Edgar Baghdasaryan’s Outflow and Land of Holy Rites. Finally,Artavazd Peleshian’s The End and Life and Ruben Gevorkyants’ Parajanov. The Last Collage have, of course, a unique position in the palette of films of the past two decades.

New Armenian Cinema focused on searching for national identity on many levels – national, historical and individual – raising the fundamental questions of who “we” Armenians are and how “we” perceive the modern world. Directly or indirectly, these questions are present in the majority of films: a reaction to the political and social cataclysms that Armenia experienced during recent years. It is no accident that the most important film of the period is H. Khachatryan’sReturn to the Promised Land (1991), about a young refugee couple settled in a desolate village in the north of the historical motherland.Another internationally acclaimed docu-drama by the same director, Border (2003), surveys the landscape following the country’s war with Azerbaijan in the late 1990s, from the perspective of a rescued buffalo.

Armenian film production is under-developed today, but its cinema combines a rich heritage with a new film language. Among recent promising debuts are Vartan Hovhannisyan’s feature-doc The Story Of the People in War and Peace, Hovhannes Galstyan’s Bonded Parallelsand Maria Saakyan’s Alaverdi.

By Susanna Harutyunyan

The Beacon, Fariz Ahmedov

Azerbaijani Cinema

Prominent among films made in recent years are the short subjects The House by Asif Rustamov and The Knot by Ali Isa Djabbarov, alongside the full-length features The Fortress by Shamil Najafzade and The 40 th Door by Elchin Musaoglou. The latter won the Gold Remi Award for a foreign film at the 42 nd Houston International Film Festival in 2009.

Sahe (The Precinct) is a film by Azerbaijani director Ilgar Safat, produced by the Narimanfilm company with Georgian partners Gruziya-Film and Baguirafilm, with financial support from the Azerbaijan Ministry for Culture and Tourism and PashaBank. It was the Azerbaijani candidate for “Best Foreign Film” at the 83 rd Academy Awards and its leading player, Baku Film School graduate Teymur Odushev, picked up a prize for Best Performance in an International Feature Film / Leading Young Performer at the 32 nd Annual Young Artist Awards.

By Nariman Mammadov

A Fold in My Blanket, Zaza Rusadze

A Portrait of Georgian Cinema from “Perestroika” to the Contemporary Scene

In 1987 the dominant trend in the “Perestroika” (Rebuilding) reform of the Communist Party was “glasnost”, or openness, which meant abolition of ideological prohibitions and freedom in every field of thought. However, even before Perestroika, Tenghiz Abuladze created a film called Repentance which became a symbol of the Perestroika movement. For the first time in the history of Soviet cinema, this film drew a metaphorical image of repressions, terror and the fates of victims of repressions. In parallel with Repentance, other films dedicated to similar themes were being made: Nana Dzhordzhadze’s Robinsonada or My English Grandfather, Irakli Kvirikadze’s Swimmer, Giorgi Shengelaia’s Young Composer’s Trip. These films show the tragic fates of the individual and society in the period of ruling Soviet power.
The new generation of film directors marked new trends in the 1980s. New heroes appeared on the scene, aiming to perceive the world in a new way. They were in  a constant process of searching for their proper place, sometimes succeeding in achieving this goal, sometimes failing. The poetic metaphorical cinema of the ’60s and ’70s, which involved poetic expression and fable-like narration, was replaced by prosaic cinema, due to the realistic nature of the issues on which the directors of the “new wave” tried to focus. Directors of various generations considered the moral and ethical state of society, the relationship between society and the individual, torn relations, human choice and society when devoid of humane principles (Alexandre Rekhviashvili’s Step, Rezo Esadze’s Nylon Christmas Tree, Tato Kotetishvili’s Anaemia, Dato Janelidze’s Lodgers, Mikheil Kalatozishvili’s The Chosen One, Temur Babluani’s Sun of the Sleepless).
In 1991 the political and social life of Georgia changed radically. The country regained independence and began to build a capitalist state. Georgian films of the first decade of the 21 st century focused on the relationships between a person and society, alienation, a people weary of inner struggle and spiritual crisis (Levan Tutberidze’s Trip to Karabakh, Giorgi Ovashvili’s The Other Side,  Levan Koghuashvili’s Street Days, Zaza Urushadze’s Three Houses, Giorgi Maskharashvili’s Watchmaker, Rusudan Chkonia’s Keep Smiling). The characters of these films are devoid of faith, they live monotonous lives without anything or anyone to rely on. Most of these characters perish in loneliness and despair. Those who are strong resist temptation and withstand misery. The weak ones make fatal mistakes, dragging others with them into the abyss. The only salvation is in love and the support of others, in line with the following formula: if you look into somebody’s eyes, they will look into yours, if you smile at someone, they will smile back.

By Lela Ochiauri


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La 66a edizione del Festival del film Locarno avrà luogo dal 7 al 17 agosto 2013.

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