It is rare to see any films from the Caucasus, and this is a worthy example. Like Pirosmani's paintings, the film is simple but impressive, replicating the artist's own primitive style in its colour cinematography and the framing of its characters on the screen. Shengelaya depicts Nico's life with great honesty - the paintings are allowed to speak for themselves, even when the artist is reluctant to say much at all.
A sombre tale of a lone artist, not quite fitting into this ruthless world. This film is absolutely worth watching for the visual style alone - incredible use of colour and masterful control of light and shadow. The way scenes are composed and framed gives the film a strong "painterly" feel. Interesting experiments with perspective (some stunning wide angle shots). So intense - the acting, music, silence - superb!
Somehow recently I watched so many movies looking like taken directly from an art gallery. Thank God it wasn't modern art. I think most of comparisons to Sayat Nova come from the fact that both are georgian, but there are also some visible references too (these static takes with buildings in the background). Excellent attempt to represent painter's style in a cinematic way.
A film of supreme artistry. Poignant meditation on a life of a lone artist. Superb painterly frames from beginning to end. Like the great story teller Parajanov, every frame crafted with breathtaking beauty. I wonder who influenced who. Shengelaya or Parajanov. Will watch it many many times before it expires.
Lip service is paid to the Soviet ideology though:rich class,the kulak's are disparaged,the poor sympathized. Clearly the director shots images as if there are paintings into paintings-as if you are immersed into the artistic act. There are picturesque scenes of the Georgian culture.Some are exquisite. Similar atmosphere-in other Soviet country:Sokurov's 'Days of Eclipse'
The viewer has to willingly give in to the primitivistic inspirations in acting and writing (it's all direct, simplistic and not quite natural - reminiscent of Herzog or Lanthimos), while the wonderful aesthetics and subtle colours are charming from the very beginning. A very unique experience.