VARNA: Mihail Pandoursky’s Incognita, screening in the Bulgarian national competition at the Golden Rose Film Festival is a coproduction with the world famous Marinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. The film is a deeply personal interpretation of Pavel Vezhinov’s novella The Barrier marked by the director’s signature mixture of mystical themes and motifs.
The novella, judged during the communist regime as “too metaphysical”, was first brought to the screen by Hristo Hristov in 1979 and starred the iconic Soviet film actor Innokentiy Smoktunovsky and the very young Bulgarian actress Vania Tzvetkova. Both films focus on the psychological anguish of a conductor preparing the performance of a musical piece and explore the impact of a young woman’s impact on the man’s psychological life. Pandoursky looks at the metaphysical depths of love and human existence. In Incognita the conductor’s role is performed by Georgi Staykov, who after immigrating to Sweden many years ago, successfully returns to national film. The director, whose interest for classical music and ballet dates back to his graduation film on Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Le Sacre du Printemps, said, “Incognita is a magic mirror that each of us may look into.” He has lived and worked in Germany since 1989 together with his wife, choreographer Donvena Pandursky, and has been closely involved in the ballet world. Donvena is the only Bulgarian artist to have worked for the St Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre (www.mariinsky.ru), and the company’s 120 member orchestra together with 200 singers recorded Konstantin Tsekov’s original 80 minute symphonic creation for the film. The Marinsky is the Russian coproducer of the film, along with Bulgarian National Television (www.bnt.bg) and Bulgarian Camera (www.camera.bg). The ambitious experimental film was shown at the Moscow IFF (www.moscowfilmfestival.ru) in a newly created “cult films” programme dedicated to “absolute film buffs.”