In the largest retrospective of Georgian film ever mounted in North America, UC Berkeley’s BAM/PFA has launched a 50-film series that showcases a full century of cinema produced in the country that is a gateway between Europe and Asia.
An especially beautiful program in the seven-month series, Discovering Georgian Cinema, will take place in late October: The rare Georgian silent film Eliso (1928) will be screened twice with live musical accompaniment by Trio Kavkasia. The score they’ll be performing was commissioned by BAM/PFA and adapted from traditional folk songs by Georgian music expert Carl Linich. The special shows are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 26.
Both in style and theme, the range of the films being shown in the series is broad, from anti bureaucratic satires of the Soviet era to philosophical studies to lyrical depictions of Georgia’s dramatic landscapes. A collaboration between BAM/PFA and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the series was inspired by BAM/PFA’s significant holdings of Soviet Georgian films. It was organized by senior BAM/PFA curator Susan Oxtoby and Jytte Jensen, a MoMA film curator.