APRILI(director/writer: Otar Iosseliani; screenwriter: Erlom Akhvlediani; cinematographer: I. Fednev; editor: Otar Iosseliani; music: Sulkhan Nasidze; cast: Tanya Chantouria (Young Man), Gia Chirakadze (Young Lady); Runtime: 45; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: G. Shariqadze; Facets Video; 1961-USSR-in Georgian with English subtitles)
“Engaging dreamlike fable about young lovers.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The lyrical Georgian director Otar Iosseliani (“There Was Once A Singing Blackbird”/”Falling Leaves”/ “Pastorale”) helms this engaging dreamlike fable about young lovers. It’s cowritten by Iosseliani and Erlom Akhvlediani. Dovzhenko was Iosseliani’s mentor, though this gentle dramedy reminds one more of a Jacques Tati film in its lighthearted observations of the human condition. It almost is without dialogue, and the little dialogue hardly matters. It’s set among the rundown building sites in Tbilisi, Georgia. It has a young worker (Tanya Chantouria) dressed in overalls wooing a pretty young lady (Gia Chirakadze) in a dress, as they walk along the alleyways of the dilapidated buildings. Though they are poor, they are in love. They imagine themselves in an empty apartment in a newly constructed building and their love makes the tap water flow, a light bulb shine and a gas stove turn on. The rub is when they get caught up in consumerism and start acquiring things such as a fancy chair, furniture and luxury gadgets, they begin to argue and lose their feelings of love.
The film was banned by the Soviet authorities for excessive formalism, and it didn’t make its first screening until the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 8/31/2008 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ