SYNOPSIS - "Avetik"


The more easily you can summarize the contents of a film making use of a automated language. the less 'filmish' that film is. The content of a film is in its form, and vice versa. 
Art experts are condemned to grope around eternally in the viscous circle of rationality, and, like the blind of Breughel they will never be able to grope their way to their aim: to understand and explain art. Art is metaphoric, and artistic metaphor can only be explained metaphorically. that means: in order to articulate an authentic and precise reaction to an artistic production you need another artistic production which is as mysterious and inexplicable as the previous, and which itself longs for new metaphors and artistic productions if you want to react to it, and so it goes on -ad infinitum. Then you  understand that an artistic metaphor is no less precise than nuclear physics. Is film criticism an art form, as precise as nuclear physics?
I'll try to express my film with the help of a sentence which is perhaps organized metaphorically: "Tobacco, from which the 'Camel' cigarette has been made that l am just lighting, while thinking about the sentence l have just written. grows out of the cracked scull of my grandfather, who perished in Iszmir".
Orwith Nabokov: "He thus knew, that even in this case Stevenson's reading would never be interrupted by a Dantesque pause (...), and that the bluntness of the glance, that one forgives the wonderfully beautiful, moist eyes. inevitably  corresponded to another hitherto hidden blemish: the blunt expression of her breast, that is impossible to forgive". Or Karl Marx: "The new era differs mainly from the old in that the whip now begins to imagine itself to be a genius". This expresses my film far more strongly than if l said that the film contains the story of an Armenian emigrant in the West (Avetik in Berlin), his reaction to tragic events in his homeland (Chapter 'Earthquake in Armenia'), his reflection on history (Meeting the king'), the genocide of Armenians in Turkey in 1915 and its effects on Diaspora-Armenians in Berlin (The conversation between the soothsayer and her brother'), Avetik's childhood memories, his coming to terms with death and love (Chapter 'Nahapet Kuchak'), about film and German racism (Journalist at Avetik's). "The list of contents" as well as the script itself are a pale literary translation of what only the camera is able to create - with the exception of dialogues, naturally.

One day my door bell rang. l opened the door. A jovial young man introduced himself: Otto Namman, Homicide Squad of the Berlin Police. He gave me a black notebook with red corners (made in China). It belonged to an Armenian emigrant N. N., who had recently been murdered in Berlin with seven unusually precise axe blows. lt turned out that he had bequeathed his diary to me. After reading it l decided to shoot 'Avetik'. We hardly knew each other. Here are some excerpts from his diary.




"Yesterday King Artashes visited me, he was quite nervous, he smoked his way through a whole pack of 'Gauloises'. At any rate he was not as embarrassingly theatrical as Hamlet's father. And his horse was real. He bears a great resemblance to the owner of the restaurant 'Dwin'. The king, not the horse. He is going to play him. The king. The light was golden-grey, very diffuse, but the few solitary, nimble spots that, as ever on secret ways, found us, were very intense and amazingly sharply defined." 

"They say that a compatriot of Picasso's, also a painter, but much more talented than he, was ruined by his scheming. l simply must find the traces of this scheming in his paintings. In Picasso's. Must the cake of the German language be baked with possessive paws, index fingers and arrows? A Charge against the possessive pronoun. Brought by me."

Today I saw a documentary film about the earthquake in Armenia. The Russians had it made in order to milk the west,  starting with the Diaspora-Armenians. One woman, dead under concrete slabs, really looks like my mother. Did l cry in my sleep? Is she still alive? l have no money which l could send her."

"Reality is neither the subject nor the goal of true art, because it creates its own reality, which has nothing in common with the 'middle of the road' reality which is accessible to the collective eye."

Wladimir Nabokov 'Pale Fire' had to write 'Lolita' for money."

"Film as art form has degenerated into a poor bride; exported from maybe Asia, Africa or Latin America, she is bitterly humiliated at the side events of big film parties.  The majority of Tv-editors, directors, producers, critics and festival directors ought to be more brutally persecuted than the drug-mafia and pimp-rapists, for they take the most tender beings, children, and turn them into addicted monsters and shrieking whores. This criminal Boheme, operating with a sharply pointed pencil (instead of a cocain needle) destroy that which they do not begin to understand."

"As if under hypnosis, l went to the crossroads and lay down on the asphalt. The cars honked angrily, but all l could hear was the rushing of a stream under the earth. This stinking city means less to me than one single dragon-fly, as blue, purple and turquoise as the reflection of the sky in the water. Who can still love like that? In circling, perpendicular flight!"

"In Teheran, after the premiere of my film (mile long queues) a Turk was heard to say: 'Shame we didn't kill all the Armenians in 1915, then this film wouldn't have been made. 'How am l to understand that? The invitation the Turkish Film Festival promised to send me still hasn't arrived. Were his compliments on my film made on behalf of the Turkish secret service? Another Turk visited me in my hotel. He said that he would pray for me, that I would be able to carry on making films."

"What does this Journalist want from me? She didn't offer me any money for the interview. 'The blunt expression of your breast...." .

"The majority of Germans suffer pathologically from racism. No foreigner has ever been able to achieve any success worth mentioning here Beckett, Picasso, Ionesco, Bunuel - None of them were French... l must get out of this filth as fast as l can."

"Antonioni could sketch the beyond of life so simply. Even in bad films you can feel his wonderfully sensitive soul." "May lightning strike me if l ever write, speak, think one word of a lie."

"They come, disguised as highly talented film directors, actually persecuted, the poor bastards, home. Their films were banned, to get them sold in the West. To make up for that, the 'enemy of the people' was allowed to make the same film 3 times over in the Army film Studios. They were banned from their professions, but allowed to work as spys in hard currency hotels. That didn't bother anybody. But l suggest, as l believe in the strict protection of author's rights. that next to the portraits of Eisenstein Stalin's portrait should be hung in film museums, and some lions, bears and palms should be made out directly to the film sections of the secret Services."


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