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The Legend of Suram Fortress/Ashik Kerib (1988)

Cast: Yuri Mgoyan, Yuri Mgoyan, Sofiko Chiaureli, more...
Director: Dodo Abashidze, Dodo Abashidze, Sergei Paradjanov, more...
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Kino
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Russia
Running Time: 164 min.
Languages: Georgian
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Based on a story by Russian author Mikhail Lermontov, Ashik Kerib has the texture of an ancient, oft-told tale. Yuri Mgoyan stars as a wandering troubadour, working the provinces. He spends 1000 days and nights on the road, entertaining whenever and wherever he can. Mgoyan's itinerant lifestyle seemingly has little purpose, but it does. At the end of those 1000 days and nights, he hopes to have accumulated enough money to afford a wedding...if his bride is willing to wait. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Soviet Suckage by ddennis September 2, 2005 - 10:29 PM PDT
1 out of 5 members found this review helpful
If you're the kind of person who thinks that watching what amounts to a Soviet-era student project film set in ancient Georgia, with horrible cinematography, slit-your-wrists pacing, scenes with starring roles for cattle and sheep, grainy film, and bad actors in funny fur hats is somehow artistically enlightening or a way to show how edgy you are, you'll undoubtedly impress yourself with your own eclectic tastes with this snore fest. It might be amusing if you're planning to watch it high, otherwise there are several hundred other better movies to see before wasting your time on this one. Oh, and by the way, the DVD is flawed - only Suram Fortress appears to play currently on some DVD players.

Fellini goes Balkan by JStott March 22, 2004 - 7:02 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Imagine Ken Russell and Fellini go back to Medival Armenia and Georgia for a psychadelic picnic. These film are gorgiously whack, complete with kung fu dance routines, machine gun toting bridesmaids, and crazy mullahs, all in neo- traditional costumes with bizarre pseudo indigenous music. Beautifully bent.

Georgia on My Mind by JPielaszczyk August 29, 2003 - 9:24 AM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Simply put, what we have here with these films is a galloping white steed of undeniable intelligence and cirrus clouds for a tail jumping through a ring of fire held by angelic, robed and gesticulating children at the base of a waterfall being caught in a finely wrought archetypal pitcher while on the horse's back a man dances while jumping rope, juggling precious stones, and playing a lute, embraced from behind by a veiled maiden singing ur-Kitkan dissonances while in front of three slain swans hanging by their necks in a smoke-drenched, monumental stone village/altar resounding with the echoes of conches and rams' horns.

A look at the globe shows that Georgia is between the Caspian and Black Seas, an area that at one time was home to 60-odd different ethnic groups. Some of the subtext concerns, if I may allude to Ken Wilber, warlike relationships beween blue meme components. Abounding are strong cultural influences from Asian and European Russia; India (ur-Bollywood) and Japan (ur-kabuki or even perhaps butoh), Africa, what we call the Middle East, and Europe. Was that really Schubert's "Ave Maria" I heard on lute amidst cranium-shattering dissonant female wailings?

Mid-air, sabre-effected pomegranate bisections; tableaux vivantes; iconic still-lifes of landscapes with vectors of human calligraphies; constant tangible color leading to bedazzled, morning-after retinal impressions; unforgettable reminders of the absolute uniqueness of the present locale and its moment in time; a flagrant indictment of our malled lives, and an impetus to notice the wind on the grass and to move about in our lives with more grace and focus. Check it out. (Not suggested for those concerned with linear plot.)

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.60)
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Non-hollywood movies
Kino International DVDs
Inspired by the recent 25th anniversary Kino series at the Roxie and getting the Kino catalog, here is a list of Kino films on DVD. The Castro will be showing Kino's Treasures from the American Film Theater 2/28-3/5

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