YEREVAN — A new film by American director Arthur Balder, featuring actress Susan Sarandon and Armenian painter Tigran Tsitoghzhyan is completed, and its first trailer is airing on the net and TV stations across Armenia. It is expected to debut in the Golden Apricot Film Festival of Armenia in July.
“American Mirror” has three protagonists. One of them is Sarandon, the other Tsitoghzhyan, and the main third one is French-Thai actress Florence Faivre (on the rise in the American TV series thanks to her stellar appearance lately in such franchises as “Agents of SHIELD who actually plays the role of the ever-lasting-never-reachable Muse around whom all Tigran’s art seem to gravitate one way or other. This complex relationships between intellect, appreciation of aging and of beauty, and unattainable perfection in life, set the basis of a film that is not a documentary but neither entirely a fiction story.
Arthur Balder recognizes the potent influence of the author of such an iconic movie as ‘The Color of 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 navigate those waters without a 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 (“Little Spain” and “Reality of the Imaginary”), both invited to be premiered at MoMA in NY, 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 outstanding documentary filmmaker, 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.”
Sarandon and Tsitoghzhyan discuss time and identity, and 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.
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 New York City’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.