I'm a big proponent of taking any opportunity to witness a master perform his/her craft, be it a Clouzot film of Picasso painting in his studio, or still seeing Bob Dylan perform well into his 70s. Listening to the late Oleg Karavaichuk is, of course, inspiring but it turns magical when juxtaposed with his poetic exploration of dissonance revealing chords, as well as the importance of a good shirt.
Oleg is a singular character, and while his thoughts are amusing, the intimate performances were unforgettable. I was particularly gripped by the scene with Czar Nicholas' elaborate piano and Oleg's bowed fingers dancing across the keys. I chuckled when he referred to "my divine style, my divine rhythm." At times his theories are rambling and obscure, but I'm glad Oleg trusted Duque to make this film.
What's an artist without dissonances and consonances? Oleg Karavaychuk was a genius full of contradictions, that admired Stalin but lived his whole life loving Catherine the Great and being inspired by playing on the tsar's antique piano.The film is dedicated to capture the uncaptivated psyche of a rare artist, a music whisperer who lived a life as an absolute embodiment of beauty emanating as art from his fingers.
The artists I admire most are the musicians: they demand nothing from you but a pure emotional reaction. The scene with the russian anthem is sublime. Static long shots are often used as a lazy shortcut to profoundity (I'm looking at you, Of Gods and Men) but here they are used to find life through art.
The film observes a true eccentric as Oleg is showcased as she walks around the Hermitage. She speaks her mind openly, having strong and unique views of the world. She speaks from experience and explains her reasoning through anecdotes. Some are poignant and charming, but I found some to fall flat, not capturing the imagination. Where she comes to life though is playing a piano. That is when beauty is truly captured.
Mesmerising, enchanting, dazzling, and I’m running out of words. I can’t be thankful enough that Duque was there to capture Oleg on digital celluloid just before he passed away. Duque’s personal style combined with the literary character makes this document a treasure.
An exquisite and magnificent piano & composition lesson by Oleg Karavajchuck, who plays splendidly long on a piece of antique, precious instrument and gives the deepest sense of sacred. At a first sight, you wouldn't give him 2cents, but his words and touch on the keyboard are nothing but a precious gift.
Oleg Karavaichuk is a very strange character and you get the sense Duque didn't have to do much to create this documentary, apart from put up with its subjects eccentricities. Oleg tends to go off on fleeting tangents as unpredictable and dissonant as his music. But even so, it is the weird eccentricities of character that make this film so worth watching. I can't say I agree with Oleg's views on classical music.