Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird depicts 36 hours in the life of the young musician Gia, who plays the drums in the Tbilisi orchestra, and is defined as much by his friendliness as his frequent lateness. He seems to be more interested in spontaneous human contact than work. He is a dreamer who refuses to adapt and seems incapable of finding a relation to time that tallies with his environment. The film, which was shot entirely in real locations and features mostly amateurs from Iosseliani’s circle of friends, recalls the French Nouvelle Vague as well as the Czech New Wave. —Arsenal
A major director of the Soviet sixties who continues to make internationally acclaimed films. A child musician and music student, Iosseliani switched to mathemetics at Moscow State University, then attended VGIK, studied directing under Dovzhenko, and graduated in 1961. His first major film, April, resulted in his being denied work for two years, during which worked as both a sailor and day laborer. He returned to direct films such as Falling Leaves, which takes a documentary approach to depicting Georgian life. His films took subtle, elliptical paths to critiquing the Soviet Union until he emigrated to France in the early 1980s, at which time his pictures
-often still set in the Soviet territories- became marginally more explicit. But his movies are much too concerned with universality, the mysteries of human existense and the beauty of nature, to be overtly political. Though still residing in France, since the fall of the Soviet Union Iosseliani has worked more closely… read more
The last frame refurbishes my initial account of the story, that this is more of a film about time and how we should spend our lives in it, a film about events and people surrounding the life of Guia.There wasn't much of a visual flare, if you're looking for it in this film, but its magic lies in its editing and camera movement as it unsteadily portrays the routine hopping of the character from one place to the other
I love this type of film. The events are so spontaneous, so incidental, and maybe even (I hope) put together in the same way. Youthful and raw, restless and energetic. Gia's life is caught on the run. A furious run against his predestined fate; and then.. just when you're starting to get used to his turbulance; the brakes squeal, the crowd builds up.. and you're left to wonder what happens. Perfect.
Guia is a busy man. As he remarks to his mother, “He has so much to do!”, but what he does is arguably inconsequential. He is a very likeable lad and everyone seems to want a piece of him. He has very… read review
Once Upon A Time There Was a Singing Blackbird directed by Otar Iosseliani is a well made film about the meaninglessness of the life of a man named Guia. Guia lives with his mother, and constantly… read review
Guia is a timpanist who plays as part of the orchestra for the local ballet. The position feels like a part-time job to the young gadabout, who always arrives just in time to play his piece before… read review