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Friday, October 9, 2009

Substance and Reality Revisited

(image lifted off rottentomatoes.com)

Back in August I questioned which version of the Russian-Georgian war over South Ossetia Hollywood action director Renny Hartlin would portray. While we knew Georgia wouldn’t let anybody in the country to shoot a pro-Russian film, the question was, would it be Hollywood’s or Georgia’s version, and the answer of course is “both.”

Razzie winning director Renny Harlin has begun shooting his film of substance and reality, which Executive Producer Papuna Davitaia said in an interview with Georgia Today is “based on real facts.” The Russian drama, Olympus Inferno was also based on real facts, for that matter, just as it was based on real fiction. What we the viewers love to figure out is how many facts and how much fiction is packed into such a movie.

Davitaia co-wrote the story with David Imedashvili, who may be the same fellow that made this little film. Davitaia is also a United National Movement Member of Parliament and Head of the cultural department.

So it’s like this:
Davitaia and his friend wrote a story about an American journalist and his cameraman who suddenly find themselves in the middle of a war (not too different than Olympus Inferno plot, actually). They took the story to Hollywood to find someone to make the film for them. Call it serendipity, but they somehow got a veteran maker of schlock action movies to film their tale and a guy named Micheal Allen to write the screenplay. If it’s the same Allen who worked with Halprin on Die Hard II, then to his credit are two television screenplays – Tales From The Crypt and something called Fitting Punishment.

So on one hand we have Russia’s celluloid action-packed version of the war and now we have Georgia’s action-packed version a year later. As a cinema buff I’d expect more substance and reality from an Andy Sidaris film. I understand the patriotic motivations behind the Georgian produced project, but wouldn’t it be better to invest in the rejuvenation of Georgian cinema instead of handing over some cash to a two-bit bum from Palookaville, California to make a propaganda film for you?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mirza 'Papuna' Davitaia is also responsible for starting Georgia's annual 'patriotic song contest' (Patrinoti)...

paul rimple said...

As I have looked further into the film, I need to retract a couple things. First, Davitaia was the head of the Cultural dept. He no longer is. Also, he is not the executive producer. Davitaia says that was another Variety misnomer.

Also, Imedashvili is indeed the fellow that directed Osetia, Georgia.

The GT article quoted Davitaia as saying the script was written by Michael Allen, yet IMDB has Mikko Alanne listed.

And I ought to mention, in all fairness, that despite my personal opinion of Hollywood schlock, Davitaia's aim is to reach as many people as possible, which Hollywood is obviously better prepared to do than Georgia. Not to mention that investors have a better chance making their money back...