Esteemed Georgian director Otar Iosseliani (Farewell Terra Firma) applies his surrealist approach to the story of a government minister turned hobo on the streets of Paris.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
The esteemed Georgian director Otar Iosseliani (Monday Morning, Farewell Terra Firma) applies his mildly surrealist, Buñuel-by-way-of-Tati approach to the story of Vincent, a government minister who falls out of official favour and onto the streets of Paris, where he bounces around between old girlfriends, old drunks, and the squatters who have taken over his apartment. While the government’s cogs continue to turn without him, he finds fulfilment in dropping out. Iosseliani’s richly imagined world is captured in detailed, measured longshot. Animals are everywhere: on the walls, in the fur and the flesh. Paintings of cattle follow Vincent around; a bored leopard cleans itself on a grand piano. The shaggy-dog storyline is fleshed out with memorable cameos (Vincent’s mother may look eerily familiar, and Iosseliani himself puts in a sozzled appearance) and gradually accumulates an appropriately autumnal tone of remembrance and retrospection, culminating in an oddly moving open-air gathering of the women from Vincent’s life. — Andrew Langridge