AMERICAN MIRROR Wins Best Cinematography And Best Innovative Film At Pomegranate Film Festival
The film "American Mirror - Intimations of Immortality', directed by Arthur Balder and produced by David Shara, garnered out of six nominations the Best Cinematography and Best Innovative Film prizes during the award ceremony and closing night of the 13th Pomegranate Film Festival of Toronto. The jury recognized the 'extraordinary cohesive work' as also 'the rare qualities of a documentary film that pushes formally the boundaries of the genre into uncharted territory'.
Optimum Diamonds' Honey Shara, who attended in representation of producer David Shara, praised the qualities of the artist portrayed in the film, Armenian-born and NYC-based Tigran Tsitoghdzyan, and expressed thankfulness for the great work during the last three years accomplished in coordination with Da Vinci Films and the director, Arthur Balder, and for Susan Sarandon's commitment to and participation in the project . The world-famous actress, who is now involved in a shooting in England, was't able to attend the event. 'American Mirror' garnered Best Cinematography, Best Composer, Best Innovative Film and Parajanov-Vartanov Award at DOC LA Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival past October 21 after a star-studded world premiere attended, among others, by Hollywood star Emilio Rivera.
'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.
Arthur Balder recognizes the potent influence of the author of such an iconic movie as 'The color of the pomegranates' in saying: "What Parajanov does in that movie sets the basis of an approach that presided my idea since the beginning: instead of talking, reciting or repeating merely the literary merits of a poet, Parajanov tries to reproduce vividly the poetical impressions and images provoked in him by the reading of the poet's writings. So a cinematic approach to Tigran's art should be cinematic, in my opinion, letting the particular powers of filmmaking give us glimpses of what is behind the painting instead of clear, objective answers, so behind and around their making: that is introspection, surrealism. It is impossible to fathom those deep-sea waters of the unconscious without allowing a space to poetics in filmmaking. Donald Kuspit, as a sort of 'Deus ex machina' appears in a dream of the artist unveiling the hidden meaning of art, while the relationship between the artist and the Muse talks about the impossibility of perfection outside the frame of the canvas."
The director, honored with two consecutive awards by the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York for his previous works as a filmmaker ('Little Spain', 'Reality of the Imaginary'), as well as the Lady Of the Victory of the Critics Circle of Mexico as a further Latin-American recognition, along with that of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors of New York as Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, has worked closely 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'. The complete original soundtrack has been authored by New-Zealand-born LA-based composer Mark Petrie.