The filmmaker works with his images as if they were a musical score. Around a central theme, he orchestrates variations and modulations that create an impression of a flood of private images arriving from beyond the frame. Peleshyan is making a name for himself as a montage filmmaker who tends to inscribe in his works the movement of the world and history. His films are odes, even symphonies that speak about humanity, nature and the cosmos. Man is often seen contending with a strong, encompassing nature that guides, transports and protects him. Peleshyan speaks to us about humility and our connection with time.
Artavazd Peleshyan has been practicing a method of film construction he refers to as «distance montage» since the 60s, in films using either found footage, Our Century or original material, The Seasons. In the early 90s, Pelechian made two spiritual films which are among his simplest and most beautiful productions: The End (1991) and Life (1992), Pelechian’s first colour film. Where The End looks towards death, Life is about a birth, consisting mainly of views of a young woman’s face in the throes of labour, her heaving body in its hospital room seen as a changing landscape. Two shifts take place: the child is born and the camera shows us this new life; then, in a final shot that re-orders the entire film in retrospect (like the final shot of Pelechian’s earlier portrait of peasant life, The Seasons), we see mother and child, faces side-by-side perhaps a year later, mirrors of one another save for the difference in age.
It’s about what I’m striving for, what we’re all striving for – every person, humanity… the wishes and desires of the people to ascend, to transcend… – Artavazd Peleshian