Otar Iosseliani

  • Otar Iosseliani – Aprili (1961)

    1961-1970ArthouseOtar IosselianiShort FilmUSSR

    Recalling the charm and humor of a Jacques Tati film, this fantasy, by noted Georgian director Otar Iosseliani, is about young love undone by consumerism. Using almost no dialogue, and set amid the dilapidated architecture of Tbilisi, the film focuses on a tall young man (Tanya Chantouria) as he woos a pretty lass (Gia Chirakadze). Though their apartment is rundown and nearly empty, their love makes the water flow, the electricity run, and the flames flicker on their stove. Yet when they start outfitting their abode with newly purchased furniture and precious odds and ends, they start to squabble. Shot in 1962, and almost immediately banned by the Soviet authorities for excessive formalism, this film made its first screening with its full 50-minute running time at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.Read More »

  • Otar Iosseliani – Brigands, chapitre VII (1996)

    1991-2000ArthouseComedyFranceOtar Iosseliani

    In this satiric comedy/drama from Georgian director Otar Iosseliani, a group of censors gather to pass judgement on a new film. However, the reels are shown out of order, so they find the story jumps from one time period to another as the moral guardians are treated to a parade of sex, violence, and bitterly ironic humor. A group of modern-day snipers perched on a rooftop open fire on unknowing passers-by down below. The ruler of an ancient kingdom journeys to lead his troops into battle after putting his wife in a chastity belt — not knowing she has a key and revenge on her mind. Arms dealers in Paris eat, drink, and are merry as they enjoy the spoils of their deadly trade. And a Soviet policemen in the Communist era decides to show his son what he does for a living, treating him to a day of watching father beat and torture innocent people.
    — allmovie guide.Read More »

  • Otar Iosseliani – Giorgobistve AKA Falling Leaves (1966)

    1961-1970ArthouseDramaOtar IosselianiUSSR

    Niko and Otar begin their professional career in a wine-producing cooperative. The two men are totally different: Niko is reserved, loyal and serious, while Otar is an opportunist convinced of his possibilities of succeeding. Niko establishes a sincere relationship with the workers and, because of his innate integrity, eventually enters into a conflict with Otar. The bottling of a wine which Niko considers to be of very bad quality but which the directors of the cooperative like, exacerbates the disagreement. The younger man will win the battle, which will be brought to an end with the help of the workers.Read More »

  • Otar Iosseliani – Chant d’hiver (2015)

    Drama2011-2020ComedyFranceOtar Iosseliani

    A deadpan, picaresque buddy comedy about two old friends through a series of urban adventures, loosely connected by the skull of an executed French aristocrat. Winter Song is a typically irreverent Iosselianian jaunt through a classy Paris apartment block contemplating the past, present and future.
    by Busan International Film FestivalRead More »

  • Otar Iosseliani – Adieu, plancher des vaches! aka In Vino Veritas aka Farewell, Home Sweet Home (1999)

    1991-2000ArthouseFranceOtar Iosseliani


    Review by Scott Tobias:

    A giant pet stork, with scanning eyes that quietly observe the human folly surrounding it, lends sanity and stability to Otar Ioseliani’s cracked comic roundelay Farewell, Home Sweet Home, perhaps because it’s the only character comfortable with its lot in life. The others, mainly members of a wealthy Parisian family, are leading absurd double lives in secret, illustrating the cliché, “the grass is greener on the other side.” With exceptionally fluid camerawork and a gently mocking touch, Ioseliani’s virtually plotless slice-of-life borrows elements from several great directors at once, combining the class-conscious irony of Luis Buñuel and the near-silent comedy of Jacques Tati with the daisy-chain elegance of Max Ophüls’ The Earrings Of Madame De… It takes time to get oriented to the peculiar rhythms of Ioseliani’s world, which establishes characters through behavior rather than dialogue, and takes only a slightly skewed perspective on the repetition and tedium of everyday life. There are no punchlines, no dramatic outbursts, and no traditional three-act structure, just an association of events that poke fun at the fickleness of human nature. Centering on the inhabitants of a suburban château, the characters attempt to escape their own lives by taking on separate identities. A well-to-do 19-year-old (Nico Tarielashvili) moonlights as a lowly dishwasher at a Paris bistro and hangs out with scruffy beggars; his mother (Lily Lavina), a businesswoman who flies to and from work in a helicopter, fancies herself a singer; and her father (Ioseliani) plays with a child’s train set while drinking himself into a stupor. Meanwhile, a penniless sailor (Philippe Bas) dresses up in a suit and picks up women in a rented Harley Davidson, including a pretty barmaid (Stephanie Hainque) who rebuffs Tarielashvili’s advances. There are at least another dozen other minor players, connected by the gliding camera movements that seamlessly link one comic vignette to the next. With its assured, breezily unassuming design, mapped out with architectural precision, Farewell, Home Sweet Home may sound like the work of an egghead formalist. But Ioseliani’s warm, open-ended style, combined with his remarkably adroit use of non-actors, impresses with the unpracticed spontaneity of real life.Read More »

  • Otar Iosseliani – Pastorali (1975)

    1971-1980DramaGeorgiaOtar Iosseliani



    Pastorale won the International Critics’ Prize from the 1982 Berlin Film Festival. Director Otar Ioseliani was something of an outsider in the Soviet system and now lives and works in France. This film, made in 1976, was not released in the West until 1982. Iosseliani’s films show a characteristically Georgian film style; focusing more on character and mood than narrative coherence, they exhibit a characteristically whimsical humor. Pastorale explores what is truly valuable in human relationships, when one cuts away the non-essentials. The story shows what happens when a highly cultured group of musicians from a string quartet spend the summer rehearsing in a small village in the Georgian countryside. In this contemplative, idiosyncratic and somewhat humorous film, they get embroiled in local controversies, and share their gusto for living, loving and drinking with the villagers, to whom they are otherwise incomprehensible, while they rehearse and bicker among themselves.Read More »

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