Hunting Down an Angel or Four Passions of the Soothsayer Poet
RUSSIA / 2002 / Russian / Color, B&W / 35mm (1:1.37) / 56 min
Director: Andrey Osipov
Script: Odelsha Agishev
Photography: Irina Uralskaya
Editing: Mila Naidenova
Sound: Dmitry Konushenko
Producer: Natalia Zheltukhina
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A unique work that uses experimental techniques to depict the life of Russian poet Andrey Belyi. By re-compiling and editing footage from Russian documentary and feature films of the 1910s and 1920s, the era in which he lived and the stories of four women surrounding him are brought to life. A search for the real Belyi, who was described variously as a “star-blessed genius,” the “incarnation of a phantom,” the “second Gogol” and a “hysterical screamer.”
[Directors Statement] When presented the opportunity to make a film about the extremely eccentric character of Andrey Belyi, who by certain mainstream standards one might even hesitate to call a human, I became intrigued by the prospect of giving his story form. I considered the option of simply following the standard blueprint for a biographical film. Although this traditional approach would surely still have made for a sufficiently engaging film, on a personal level this design offered little appeal. It is for this reason that scriptwriter Odelsha Agishev and I decided to knead this life chronicle from a slightly more unconventional perspective. By making use of silent film we hoped to weave his story through a search for a new form, a new language of film, that arose in the silent film genre during the era in which Andrey Belyi lived (1910s and 1920s).
Many things seem to happen intuitively. People live and wake according to an internal rhythm that conforms to some form of natural law. The symbolists did not hide the belief that within what can be seen there is much that cannot, and from limited space, infinite interpretations can be drawn. From this perspective the boundaries between life and art ceased to exist, and life became like a game for them.
What is important is expressing that person’s story, and the emotions associated with that story. Film is a medium not of information, but of feeling.
Born in 1960 in Siberia. In 1982 graduated from Odessa National Polytechnic University, and in 1995 from the Higher Course of Script Writers and Directors in Moscow (feature film department). Has received prizes at film festivals at home and abroad. Works include Fight, Erase the Accidental Features (1994), Voices (1997), Blown in with the Wind (1999) and Et Cetera . . . (2001).