CLOSING GALA: AMERICAN MIRROR – INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY UK PREMIERE
Sunday 16 June – 18.00
The Granville Theatre, Victoria Parade, Ramsgate CT11 8DG
followed by Awards Ceremony
Red carpet event – Ticket includes one FREE drink
American Mirror – Intimations of Immortality was most awarded film at its premiere on October 21, 2018, at the 5th DOC LA Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival, garnering Best Innovative Film, Best Composer, Best Cinematography and Parajanov-Vartanov Award.
A jury presided over by two-time Academy award-winner Paul Haggis for Fabrique Du Cinema Awards (presented by Fabrique Du Cinema, the leading film magazine of Italy, bestowed on the film the Best International Documentary award in Rome, December 15th, 2018.
Other accolades include Best Cinematography and Best Innovative Film at 13th Pomegranate Film Festival (Toronto, November 2018.)
Oscar-winning screen icon Susan Sarandon and Armenian painter Tigran Tsitoghdzyan discuss how the apparently in conflict values of beauty and aging are perceived in our modern society dominated by social media, as he limns her portrait during a timeless sitting session in his atelier in New York City.
With this film the director sets in motion his theory on poetics of cinematic art, by creating the sense memories of an artist in a non-linear, challenging story-telling scheme.
‘American Mirror – Intimations of Immortality’ aims to expand our ordinary perception of time as the director introduces ‘a documentary on the unconscious’. From this perspective these characters -an artist, muses painted by him, the NYC society as a catalyzer- transcend the banausic pace of the world surrounding them, joining in a kind of shared visionary creative process, as if engulfed in each other’s dream. Balder lays out the dream-like narratives of both the artist and his haunting muses -main parts assigned to Susan Sarandon and Florence Faivre-, whom Tigran paints, or dreams to paint. Most reality-engaged scenes are the epitome of the everyday metropolis-world from which Tigran’s innermost self wishes to stray. In fact, all that follows the opening sequence of the awakening could be interpreted as just a dream within a dream, being the whole proceedings a feverish thought-process of the still-unredeemed artist. The director draws us in with an intriguing story that actually embeds a meditation on something far deeper: the internal frictions of unconscious, never-resolved conflicts which are the true motor of creative impulsiveness. But through his presentation of the artist’s self-unconscious suffering right at the beginning of the film, the director choses an artistic direction that he would follow hereafter with unwavering determination despite challenging the canons of nowadays ‘conscious’ documentary filmmaking until the last frame of the film.
‘Intimations of Immortality’ is a reference taken from the ode of British Romantic poet William Wordsworth, ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’. For Wordsworth poetry was all about the ‘memories’ we have. So is long to explain, but this has become a revelation to the director’s craft as an essential part of filmmaking:
the reconstruction of deep thought-processes, which we can call memories but also ‘omens’ and other sort of ‘visions’, imagery occurring in the internal eye of the subject, entirely ‘subjective’.
The film reveals how Tigran, a highly dedicated and painstakingly trained craftsman, brings the ancient spirit of the old masters into a unique post-modern hyperrealism deeply interwoven with NYC’s culture and social landscape. Shot over the period of three years, the film takes us on a rare, thought-provoking, timeless reality-and-fiction setting to reveal how one of the most striking artists in recent art history climbs up the art-world ranks on the winding journey to success and recognition.
Director Biography: Arthur Balder
Arthur Balder has been honored with two consecutive awards by the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York for his previous works as a filmmaker (2015 and 2016), his films have won the Fabrique Du Cinema Award 2018 Best International Documentary and the Parajanov-Vartanov Award 2018, as well as the Lady Of the Victory of the Critics Circle of Mexico (2015) as a further Latin-American recognition, along with that of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors of New York (HOLA Awards 2016) as Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, has worked hand in hand with American producer David Shara, both taking care of an audiovisual artistic work that in the producer’s words ‘from the set-out was poised to defy the boundaries between documentary and fiction’.
His films have garnered nominations at Gijon International Film Festival (Spain, FIATP competitive), Golden Door International Film Festival (Jersey City), Arpa International Film Festival (Los Angeles, Egyptian Theater, American Cinematheque).
My dream is to fuse the power of word and image into compelling cinematic art with a potentiality to make us reflect on who we are and ultimately, ideally, inviting us to change our lives to build a better society and world.
Director: Arthur Balder
Writer: Arthur Balder
Producer: David Shara
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Tigran Tsitoghdzyan, Florence Faivre, Ashley Hinshaw Grace
Editor: Arthur Balder