Private Philharmonic Triumph
My Grandmother (1929), a feature film
Director Kote Mikaberidze
Musical and Noise Sound Design: Saraf Project (St. Petersburg)
The legendary avant-garde film My Grandmother by Georgian director Kote Mikaberidze will be presented as part of the Silence of Cinema programme, a joint project of Dom Radio and the Gosfilmofond of Russia, accompanied by the musical and noise design of the Saraf Project from St. Petersburg.
... Decent people gathered at a huge round table: one is fiddling with a toy car, and the other is trying to snatch it away from him; two are playing cards; yet another is tossing paper pigeons at a young girl. There is a sign on the back of each chair saying 'Head of Staff', 'Chief Accountant', 'Conference Session', 'Business Before Pleasure', 'Do Not Disturb' and others…
The film 'My Grandmother, the directorial debut of the Georgian actor, silent film star Kote Mikaberidze, was created as a satirical comedy about the mores of Soviet bureaucrats in the era of NEP, and became the discovery of a whole artistic trend. In this film, the author actually invented Soviet surrealism, not knowing about Buñuel's similar cinematographic searches and not having seen Magritte's paintings. The director combines 'puppet' acting, hand-drawn and clay animation, distorts the scale of objects, kills and resurrects characters like an infant demiurge. According to the film critic Mikhail Trofimenkov, 'My Grandmother is an incredibly generous film. Almost each of the 60 screen minutes contains a dazzling gem. Contrary to all the laws of nature, their abundance does not turn the film into a set of attractions. All of them are connected by a whimsical, jazz-like imperative rhythm. Not a catalogue, but a waterfall of avant-garde insights that will overwhelmingly overtake the audience only many years later.'
The musical accompaniment to the silent film is created in real-time mode by Saraf, a project by Serafima Okuneva (St. Petersburg), which was created in 2019 as an experiment at the junction of storytelling, noise, drone ambient, and ritual practices. The project uses homemade musical instruments, cassette-film canvases and synthesizers, by which means noise, stringy textures, and ambient melodies are generated.