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 Georgi Daneliya

Born:   25 August 1930

Film Director and Scriptwriter


All the works by Georgi Daneliya are truly films of actors. From his very first films he gathered acinematographic troupe of actors who most fully corresponded to his understanding of what a good film is. These were brilliant actors, such as Yevgeni Leonov, Vakhtang Kikabidze, Leonid Kuravlyov, Frunzik Mkrtchyan, and later Oleg Basilashvili, Natalya Gundareva, Marina Neyolova, Galina Volchek, Valentina Talyzina, Yuri Yakovlev, Stanislav Lyubshin, etc...

The illustrious Russian actor Yevgeni Leonov once said: Daneliya is a gifted and original artist, always different and unexpected even for those who know him well. Secondly, he is just a kind person and his films are kind. Into each of them he puts a piece of kindness, a piece of his heart, a piece of his love to people

Georgi Daneliya Georgi Nikolaevich Daneliya was born on August 25, 1930 in Tbilisi. He spent his childhood in Moscow, in Ulansky Lane, where the family moved to in 1931. In 1954 he graduated from Moscow Architectural Institute and worked as an architect in 1955.

In 1956 Georgi Daneliya entered the Higher Directors Courses at the Mosfilm Studio where his teachers were Mikhail Romm, Sergei Yutkevich, Leonid Trauberg, Yuli Raizman, and Mikhail Kalatozov... While studying he shot two short-length films: Vasisuali Lohankin (1958) (jointly with Sh. Abbasov) and Tozhe lyudi (Also people (1959)), screening an episode from Tolstoys War and Peace.

Seryozha (1960) In 1959 Georgi Daneliya started working as a producer at Mosfilm. After his study screenings revealing a brilliant capability of rendering the original works the success of Seryozha (1960) was quite natural. Daneliyas debut at directing full-length films was a joint work with Igor Talankin. The movie based on the story Seryozha (1950) by Vera Panova and featuring a few stories from life of a very little boy was awarded the Crystal Globe in Karlovy Vary.

Put k prichalu / The Road to Berth (1962) The next work by Georgi Daneliya was the psychological drama Put k prichalu (The Road to Berth) (1962). The film featuring the prose of life wins the viewers favour with subtle psychological elaboration of genre scenes that in deliberately common everyday circumstances highlight the problems of human values. The characters are faced with the choice: life of honour, fear or sense, cruelty or courage. And they all make their decisions.

Ya shagayu po Moskve / Walking the Streets of Moscow (1963) In 1963 Georgi Daneliya directed the lyrical comedy Ya shagayu po Moskve (Walking the Streets of Moscow), that went down in history of the national cinematography as a very popular fresh film of the new wave. Special attention was paid to portrayal solutions, subtle revealing of the characters nature and the use of music. It is a film about quite young people, - Mikhail Romm said about the movie. Once you recall it, you want to smile. The film starts with a smile and finishes with a smile. It smiles with all its scenes. Each scene amuses with the merry ingenuity of the director and cameraman.

Tridtsat tri / Thirty Three (1965) In his next film Tridtsat tri (33) (Thirty Three, 1965) starring Yevgeni Leonov Daneliya turns to the language of bitter satire and grotesque, which, however, wonderfully gets on with genial humour. The film was accused of being anti-Soviet by KGB and Daneliya had to wait for 4 years until he could work on another film. However, it did not prevent him from working in the genre of satire as the director of the comical newsreel Fitil.

Ne goryuy / Don't Grieve (1969) The year 1969 saw the release of Ne goryuy (Don't Grieve) after Claude Tilliers novel My Uncle Benjamin, one of the most remarkable works by the film-director. The film features a dazzling ensemble of actors.

In 1973 Georgi Daneliya directed Sovsem propashchiy (aka The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) by his own script after Mark Twains novel.

Mimino (1977) Daneliyas comedies often include peculiar features of drama or melodrama. Such are the comedies Afonya (1975), Mimino (1977), and Osenniy marafon (aka Autumn Marathon, 1979). Autumn Marathon full of amusing varieties of fortune was called by critics one of the funniest among sad comedies.

Kin-Dza-Dza (1986) Daneliya also created such films as drama Slyozy kapali (Tears Were Falling, 1982), fantastic comedy Kin-Dza-Dza (1986), Pasport (The Passport, 1990), Nastya (1993), Oryol i reshka (Heads and Tails, 1995), and comedy Fortuna (Fortune, after a long pause, in 2000).

Georgi Daneliya is the author or co-author of scripts to most of his films; he also wrote scripts for films by other directors, among them Gentlemeny udachy (Gentlemen of Fortune, 1972, jointly with Viktoriya Tokareva), Frantsuz (Frenchman, 1988, with Sergei Bodrov), and Privet from Charli Trubach (with Sergei Dernov, 1998).

Georgi Daneliya Georgi Nikolayevich is amazingly hard-working. According to his colleagues he never happens to be confused at the shooting, and he always knows what he wants and how to do it. While directing the film he is living only with its problems internally doing also the work of cameraman, artist, actors, and composer.

Georgi Nikolayevich lives and works in Moscow. Besides cinema, he is keen on painting, graphics, and music, and has gathered a collection of drums at home.


Vera Ivanova and Mikhail Manykin


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