On our Instagram or Facebook pages, we show only the best part of ourselves, the “beautiful” part of our lives. We hide in this fake. We are so immersed in the process of creating our ideal virtual personality that we forget about real life. We forget the simple truth that beauty is inside.
‘American Mirror – Intimations of Immortality’ was most awarded film at its premiere on October 21, 2018, at the 5th DOC LA Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival, garnering Best Innovative Film, Best Composer, Best Cinematography and Parajanov-Vartanov Award. A jury presided over by two-time Academy award-winner Paul Haggis for Fabrique Du Cinema Awards (presented by Fabrique Du Cinema, the leading film magazine of Italy, bestowed on the film the Best International Documentary award in Rome, December 15th, 2018. Other accolades include Best Cinematography and Best Innovative Film at 13th Pomegranate Film Festival (Toronto, November 2018.) The film is a Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2019 Official Selection, among other twenty official selections around the world in 2020.
Oscar-winning screen icon Susan Sarandon and Armenian painter Tigran Tsitoghdzyan discuss 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 in his atelier in New York City.
With this film the director sets in motion his theory on poetics of cinematic art, by creating the sense memories of an artist in a non-linear, challenging story-telling scheme.
‘American Mirror – Intimations of Immortality’ aims to expand our ordinary perception of time as the director introduces ‘a documentary on the unconscious’. From this perspective these characters -an artist, muses painted by him, the NYC society as a catalyzer- transcend the banausic pace of the world surrounding them, joining in a kind of shared visionary creative process, as if engulfed in each other’s dream. The director lays out the dream-like narratives of both the artist and his haunting muses -main parts assigned to Susan Sarandon and Florence Faivre-, whom Tigran paints, or dreams to paint. Most reality-engaged scenes are the epitome of the everyday metropolis-world from which Tigran’s innermost self wishes to stray. In fact, what follows the opening sequence of the awakening could be interpreted as just a dream within a dream, being the whole proceedings a feverish thought-process of the still-unredeemed artist. The director draws us in with an intriguing story that actually embeds a meditation on something far deeper: the internal frictions of the unconscious, never-resolved conflicts which are the true motor of creative impulsiveness. But through his presentation of the artist’s self-unconscious suffering right at the beginning of the film, the director choses an artistic direction that he would follow hereafter with unwavering determination despite challenging the canons of nowadays ‘conscious’ and ‘mainstream’ documentary filmmaking until the last frame of the film.
‘Intimations of Immortality’ is a reference taken from the ode of British Romantic poet William Wordsworth, ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’. For Wordsworth poetry was all about the ‘memories’ we have. So is long to explain, but this has become a revelation to the director’s craft as an essential part of filmmaking:
the reconstruction of deep thought-processes, which we can call memories but also ‘omens’ and other sort of ‘visions’, imagery occurring in the internal eye of the subject, entirely ‘subjective’.