Monday, August 31, 2009

SPEECHLESS at festivals

After premiered at
One World Human Rights International Film Festival in Prague this March, the film went to
DocuDays: Human Rights Film Fetival in Kiev.

The film is about to be screend at
Ro-IFF Romanian International Documentary Film Festival held from September 26 to October 4;
Ad Hoc: Inconvenient films 2009 held during October 22-30 in Vilnius, Lithuania;
dokumentART - European Filmfestival Neubrandenburg/Szczecin 16.10. - 21.10.2009

I visited a military hospital in Gori, Georgia, on the third day of war in August 2008. What I saw in the courtyard of that hospital became my impression of war in general.

Speechless is an experiment with human faces. It tells a story of the tragedy that cannot be expressed through words or dramatic images. It is a silent for reflection. Speechless was filmed right after Russia-Georgia war last year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the Urals and thigs I did not know

the film as a film was fine. Voiceover was a bit annoying. It was a nature film called 'The Urals'. It gave me some emotional information which I did not know.

I did not know that the Urals is the place where European and Asian continents meet.
I did not know that when tempreture drops down to -30C, treest start to burst, a rare acoustic experience.
I did not know that red bugs (I don't know the exact type of bug, I've seen them in Georgia too) have sex for up to 24 hours.
I did not know that a male bear bites violently his lady bear in the neck while intercorse.
I did not know that bears scratch with their back on threes to mark the area. While scratching their fur gets stuck in the trunk.
I did not know that Desna, which is was a bycicle mark in my childhood, is in fact an animal living exceptionally in the Eastern part of the Urals. It has low fur and a long nose resembling a trunk with big nostrills. Moves around almost like a rat sniffing around with its long nose and lives around low water and mud.

The Urals

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Trip

It was supposed to be a trip for work. We went to film the president visiting a patriotic camp. He never arrived. It was the August war 'anniversary'. We waited the whole day for his spontanious decision to appear there, at the place that was burnt down last year during the war. The spontanious decision was never made. It was mostly cloudy and I sat at the beach. The waves were dark and the space was unlit. A guy was teaching a girl with big boobs how to swim. They were the same height and standing in the water touching their bellies he had grabbed both of her arms and would not let them go. The girl's face was serious, pretending to be frightened of depth of the water. The flirtation was so concealed but yet so obvious.

Then there was the evening sun. The light was warm and colorful.

No sun the next day. The whole morning, up until late afternoon we sat on a balcony talking this and that and even drank wine. I discovered a fantastic park in Zugdidi where I wanted to run in the mornings and drink coffee in the afternoon in a construction that I pretended would be a cafe, but is a run down shack now. Trees were tall and dirty ponds looked wild. The pond remimded me of a film, where a family - three kids and their parents swim in a village pond and it is frighteningly calm and quiet there.

In this region, Mingrelia, every second person wears black clothes, a sign of grief. It seems the war ended last year there. The grievance is such a big part of this culture. The cemetaries along the road and none behind each of them. A long row of large cemetaries overlooking the road. A car driving up to a dozen drunk man shouting out with joy seemed part of this grief, as if they were all about to die.

We were on the road again and I referenced Jack Keruak's 'On the Road' all the time. Even though I don't like the spirit of that book, it did influence me in a way in freeing the road. Cracking nuts in the back we drove through Guria and then to Imereti and then, after a night, after getting lost on a village road, but freeing a cow that had its head stuck in a wired fence, we hit the road towards Tbilisi - the end of the trip.

ჩიფსები და პატრიოტები

განმუხურის პატრიოტთა ბანაკი (მშვიდობისა და მეგობრობის ახალგაზრდული ბანაკი თუ ქალაქი, როგორც შესასვლელში აწერია), 7 აგვისტო

მუსიკა ჩაირთო Alarm, alarm... შეკრების მუსიკაა ეს. მზე ზღვაში ჩასვლისკენ იყო და პატრიოტები ბანაკის სხვადასხვა ნაწილიდან სტადიონისკენ მორბოდნენ. ასე 200 კაცი. რაზმებად დაეწყვნენ. ჩამწკვირდნენ. ყუთები ჩამოატარეს. DJ-მ თქვა – ვინც მე არ შემახვედროსო... რა არის–მეთქი. – ჩიფსებია. – თქვა და მერე სხვას გასძახა – კიდევ დარჩა? ხუთი დღეა მაგას ვჭამთ და კიდევ დარჩაო – დააყოლა.

რაზმებს ჩიფსები დაურიგეს. დორიტოები. მერე რაზმებმა ერთობლივად დაცხეს ტაში. ჩიფსების განაწილება მიდიოდა და DJ-მ სიმღერა ჩართო – "მაგრად დაჰკარი, მაგრად დაჰკარი..." რაღაც საბრძოლო სულისკვეთების სიმღერაა, ნელებში გადის. შენ გაიხარე, გესმის რაო – ვიღაცამ მიაძახა იქ სადაც ვისხედით.

მერე პატრიოტები თავიანთი კოტეჯებისკენ გაიქცნენ, ხელში დორიტოების პარკებით. ერთ ბიჭს მაისურის შიგნით ქონდა ამოდებული, ზოგს იღლიაში ქონდა ამოჩრილი, ზოგსაც პირდაპირ ხელში ეჭირა და მირბოდა კოტეჯებისკენ. ყველანი ერთად მირბოდნენ სხვადასხვა მიმართულებით, ჩიფსებით.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Herzog while filming 'Fitzcarraldo'

Of course we are challenging the nature itself... and it hits back. It just hits back. That's all. And that's grandiose about it. And we have to accept that it is much stronger than we are.

Kinski always says it's full of erotic elements. I don't see it so much erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. It's just... Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn't see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and just rotting away.

Of course there's a lot of misery. But it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don't think they sing. They just screech in pain.

It's an unfinished country. It's still prehistorical. The only thing that is lacking is the dinosaurs here. It's like a curse weighing on an entire landscape. And whoever goes too deep into this has his share of that curse. So we are cursed with what we are doing here. It's a land that God, if he exists, has created in anger. It's the only land where creation is unfinished yet.

Taking a close look at what's around us there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder. And we in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle, we in comparison to that enormous articulation, we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel - a cheap novel.

And we have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication, overwhelming growth, and overwhelming lack of order. Even the starts up here in the sky look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it. I love it. I love it very much. But I love it against my better judgment.

(speaking of the Amazons)

It's not only my dreams. My belief is that all these dreams are yours as well. And the only distinction between me and you is that I can articulate them. And that is what poetry or painting or literature or filmmaking is all about. It's as simple as that. And I make films because I have not learned anything else. And I know I can do it to a certain degree. And it is my duty because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are. And we have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field.

Werner Herzog while filming Fitzcarraldo
from the Burden of Dreams