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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Irakli Kvirikvadze & the battle of the Fellinists and the Antonionists

The great racconteur of Georgian cinema is, of course, Irakli Kvirikvadze who made The Swimmer and a Georgian version of Pirandello's The Jar. He is famous for his extremely tall stories. The only attitude to a Kvirikadze story is 'Se non e' vero, e' ben trovato...' (Even if it's not true, it's a great story). Well reading last spring his interview with Larisa Maliukova last summer on a dirty elektrichka from Zhelezka to Moscow was a supreme delight. I just loved his tale of the champagne fight at VGIK one New Year between Fellinists and Antonionists. Here is my (poor) translation and the original in Russian below:

I was in love with Fellini. At that time our cinema gods were Fellini and Antonioni. In VGIK there was a sharp dividing line between Fellinists and Antonionists. My close friend Soso Chkheidze was an Antonionist. On the fifth floor of the halls of residence one New Year there began one hell of a battle at 3 o' clock in the morning. Champagne bottles flew everywhere. To my mind the Fellinists came out on top.

Я был влюблен в Феллини. В ту пору нашими кинобогами были Феллини и Антониони. Во ВГИКе возник жесткий водораздел между феллинистами и антонионистами. Мой близкий друг Сосо Чхеидзе был антонионистом. В Новый год в общежитии на пятом этаже часа в три ночи началось эпохальное сражение. Бутылки от шампанского летели во все стороны. По-моему, феллинисты победили.

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