News from the Locarno Festival
Pelechian Without a Word
On August 14 in Cinema Rialto, Armenian director Artavazd Pelechian be celebrated by the screening of five documentaries, covering most of his career both before and after the demise of the Soviet Union (1967-1993).
Now living in Moscow, Pelechian – who received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Armenia's Yerevan Film Festival in 2006 – has described his directorial theories in several books such as Moyo Kino (My Cinema, 1988). Renowned for developing the style of distance montage, Pelechian made extensive use of archive footage, which he mixed with his own shots using music and sound effects, but no words.
Besides his own production of 12 films – mostly in black&white, the longest 60 minutes – he directed archive footage for, ao, Andrey Konchalovskiy (Siberiade), and wrote scripts for Mikhail Vatanov. "One of the most important and influential filmmakers from Armenia, Pelechian was an obvious choice for this year's focus on Caucasian movies," explained head of Open Doors, Martina Malacrida, this year focusing on the cinema in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Pelechian selection includes Skisb (Beginning, 1967), Menk (We, 1969), Mer dare (Our Century, 1982), Vertch (End, 1992) and Kiank (Life, 1993) – all between six-30 minutes and without any dialogue.Jørn Rossing Jensen