Baku Piano Festival's visitors explore music world through cinema [EXCLUSIVE]
Baku International Piano Festival never ceases to amaze not only music lovers, but also moviegoers.
The festival's film program gives festival visitors a great chance to explore the music world through cinema.
Curated by well-known film critic Ulvi Mehdi, the film program adds another layer of enchantment to the festival.
Speaking to AZERNEWS, Ulvi Mehdi has provided insight into the cinema program, organized within Baku International Piano Festival.
Q: How did your collaboration with Baku International Piano Festival start?
A: The festival's director Shahin Novrasli and I once discussed cinematography and my old topic on jazz soundtracks. Furthermore, the festival's program director Natavan Novrasli invited me to join the festival as a curator of the film program. That’s when it all started...
Q: What nuances do you take into account when compiling a film program?
A: While compiling the cinema program, I took into account that the festival's theme is devoted to piano, where the music instrument turns into the non-verbal film character. This can be traced in Oktay Mir-Gasim's film "This is the voice of the Truth: Composer Gara Garayev'' and Ilona Bruvere's cinema work "Taper'' dedicated to Latvian composer Oskar Strokes.
Q: Oktay Mir-Gasim's film "This is the voice of the Truth: Composer Gara Garayev" (1968) was screened on the second day of the festival. What is special about the film in your opinion?
A: The documentary demonstrates Gara Garayev's chronicle portrait, which for 55 years has become an invaluable film document in the history of 20th century culture.
Q: Speaking about the film program, it is impossible not to mention Ilona Bruvere's documentary "Tapieris" (2014) dedicated to Latvian composer Oskar Strokes. Could you tell our readers more about the legacy of "King of Tango"?
A: A detailed tale about the "King of Tango" was embodied on the screen in the magic of an unhurried rhythm, where the Latvian history of the first and second half of the 20th century is shown through Strokes' biography.
The documentary narrates about pianist-melodist and arranger Oskar Strokes, who even at the very start of his creative path, a hundred years ago became famous in Europe for his author's performance of compositions in the rhythm of tango. The life of the maestro has been shown like a film-play.
Q: Please, share with readers your must-see selection of films about musicians and composers.
A: I highly recommend your newspaper readers to watch a documentary "Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool" (2019).
Recall that this documentary was presented to Baku public last year within the first Baku International Piano Festival. Filmed by Stanley Nelson Jr, the documentary features a collection of videos from concerts and rehearsals, photos, and interviews with Miles Davis' contemporaries and collaborators including Carl Lumbly, Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, Wayne Shorter, etc. The film focuses on the figure of Miles Davis as a revolutionary who recognizes boundaries neither in life nor in music.
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