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70 Directors for Venice 70

- MELVIN KHUTSIEV
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Biography
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1925, he studied directing at the VGIK, where he graduated in 1952. He immediatly began working as an assistant director, but realized his first feature film in 1956: Vesna na Zarechnoy ulitse (Spring Is in Via Zarecnaja), the love story between a worker and a teacher, which already anticipates the traits of his poetics, like his close attention to the feelings and the uncertainties of the new generations, and of the "Thaw cinema". With Dva Fyodora (The Two Fyodor, 1959), Khutsiev launched a popular hero, portrayed by actor Vasily Šukšin, which was in sharp contrast with the idealized characters of Socialist realism. The film of his artistic maturity is Mne dvadtsat let (I Am Twenty), a portrait of the youth of the Sixties through the stories of three young Muscovites: considered to be one of his masterpieces, it is often compared to the style of other European "nouvelle vagues" and won the Special Jury Prize at the 26th edition of the Venice Film Festival. In 1966 he directed Iyulskiy dozhd (July Rain), then mainly devoted to teaching at VGIK and to television projects such as Byl mesyats may (It Was in May), which dealt with the topic of Shoah viewed by the Red Army. He returned to narrative feature films in 1983 with Poslesloviye (Epilogue), the story of a Muscovite intellectual who houses his father-in-law, an old but still full of life veteran of the Great Patriotic War: the coexistence forces them to a delicate generational confrontation. In 1986 Khutsiev was nominated People's Artist of the USSR. In 1992, he directed the monumental Beskonechnost (Infinitas), which lasts 206 minutes and won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Berlin Film Festival: while following the journey of a middle-aged intellectual in existential crisis, the director develops a complex reflection on the limits of existence and history, filmed during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. After a nearly fifteen-year break he directed his last film Nevechernyaya (Permanent, 2010), focusing on the relationship between the great Russian writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov.
FILMS PRESENTED IN VENICE:
1965 – Mne dvadtsat let (I Am Twenty) – In competition (director)
1976 – Dva Fyodora - Omaggio a Vasili Shukshin, Proposte di nuovi film (screenplay, director)

AWARDS:
1965 – Mne dvadtsat let (I Am Twenty) – Premio Speciale della Giuria

JURIES:
1980 – Venezia 37 (member)
 



70 Directors for Venice 70

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