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Discovering Georgian Cinema

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Discovering Georgian Cinema

Monday, September 29, 2014
7:00 p.m. An Unusual Exhibition
Eldar Shengelaia (USSR, 1968)

In Person/Eldar Shengelaia


(Neobyknovennaya vystavka/Arachveulebrivi gomopena). Reflective and provocative, Eldar Shengelaia’s An Unusual Exhibition is a tragicomedy about a sculptor who, in order to feed his family, develops a niche carving tombstones bearing the likeness of the now departed. The work wryly hits home on several sensitive subjects—art practice, socialist realism, and social conventions—in a way that initially caused ripples in the official Soviet cinema establishment and ultimately established Shengelaia as an independent voice. Film historian Peter Rollberg has noted the parallels to Eldar’s brother Giorgi Shengelaia’s Pirosmani: both are “reflections on the conditions of artistic creativity, juxtaposing the needs of the family and society at large to the demands of pure artistry.”

—Susan Oxtoby

• Written by Revaz Gabriadze. Photographed by Giorgi Gersamia. With Guram Lortkipanidze, Dodo Abashidze, Valentina Telichkina, Vasili Chkheidze. (96 mins, Dubbed in Russian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, BAM/PFA Collection)