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Shalva Azmaiparashvili , Lado (Vladimir) Gudiashvili , Vladimir (Lado) Mujiri

The Argonauts / Colchis [Аргонавты / Колхида]

YEAR: 1936

COUNTRY: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

The Argonauts / Colchis [Аргонавты / Колхида]

Studio / Production Company

Goskinprom Gruzii

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Original Language

Russian, Georgian

First Edition Date

1936

First Edition Details

Аргонавты / Колхида [The Argonauts / Colchis]. Directed by Vladimir Mujiri. Tbilisi, 1936. 

Running time

10 min

Genre

Animated films
Black and white films*
Hand-drawn animation (traditional animation)*
Short films

Target Audience

Crossover (6+)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Shalva Azmaiparashvili , 1902 - 1957
(Composer)

Shalva Azmaiparashvili (შალვა აზმაიფარაშვილი, Шалва Азмайпарашвили) was a Georgian and Soviet composer and conductor. He worked at theatre and radio. In 1943-53 Azmaiparashvili was the principal conductor of the Georgian radio symphonic orchestra. From 1943 he was the principal conductor of the Georgian State Symphonic Orchestra, from 1954 became its director.



Bio prepared by Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl 


Photograph of Lado Gudiashvili in Paris, in 1925 by Konstantin Zanisi; it is in public domain and available from Russian Wikipedia and the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia (accessed: July 2, 2018).

Lado (Vladimir) Gudiashvili , 1896 - 1980
(Artist)

Lado Gudiashvili (ლადო გუდიაშვილი, Ладо Гудиашвили) was one of the most prominent Georgian artists of the 20th century. He studied at the Tiflis School of Fine Arts and Sculpture (1910-14), was a part of futurist movement, then lived in Paris, studying at the Académie Ronson (1919-26), going into “La Ruche” residence together with Amedeo Modighliani, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov and others. His early works were based on medieval Georgian traditions and French symbolism. He was very fond of Caucasian and Persian traditional art. Gudiashvili worked in different styles and techniques. He returned to Soviet Georgia in 1926.

After the return to the USSR Lado Gudiashvili was accepted by the Soviet authorities and even decorated with a badge of honour in 1937. However in 1945 he was expelled from the Communist Party and fired from his teaching position at the Academy of Arts for making frescoes for the Kashveti Church in Tbilisi. In 1958, he once again became an honourable member of society and received the Lenin’s Order and other decorations.


Source:

Official website (accessed: July 2, 2018).

Bio prepared by Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl


Male portrait

Vladimir (Lado) Mujiri , 1907 - 1953
(Animator, Director)

Lado Mujiri (ლადო მუჯირი, Владимир Муджири, Vladimir Mudzhiri) was a pioneer of Georgian animation. He studied at the Georgian Academy of Arts. He started to work in film in 1929. According to the database Kino-teatr.ru (accessed: February 21, 2019) he made 15 animation movies from 1930 to 1952. Sergei Asenin, an eminent Soviet critic and historian of animated films, writes that the first Georgian cartoon was produced by Mujiri in 1936 (Argonavtebi). I have no information at what studio Mudjiri made his first four movies (1930-32). He mainly produced propaganda movies, so called “agitational-poster films”.*


Bio prepared by Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl


* Sergei Asenin, Волшебники экрана [The Magicians of the Screen], Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1974, 257.


Summary

This is a black and white silent film with intertitles and music. It relates the feats of the Argonauts which are presented as the draining of the Colchis valley and a war with mosquitoes.

The film starts with a quotation from Lavrentiy Beria: “LET US GIVE LEMONS, TANGERINES AND ORANGES TO THE TABLE OF THE WORKING OF THE SOVIET COUNTRY.”

A young man and a girl dressed in Georgian national costumes sit under a tree having a picnic with shashlik. The man plays music, the girl sings. They are Jason and Medea.

The intertitles say:
“COLCHIS WAS RICH IN THE GOLDEN FLEECE SINCE A LONG TIME”
“WE HAVE AN IMPORTANT TASK — TO DRAIN WHOLE COLCHIS!”
“BLACK-EYED MEDEA WAS ATTRACTED BY THE GOLDEN FLEECE”
“AND JASON, BURNING WITH LOVE, PROMISED HER TO GIVE HER ALL COLCHIS”

Jason and Medea start a journey. They put their belongings on a donkey that accompanies them. We see changing Georgian landscapes. There are some obstacles on their way — they have to cross a river and make a catapult to do it.

The real problems start when the couple comes to malaria swamps.
“MOSQUITOS WATCHES PROTECT FORESTS AND SWAMPS”
“AND NOBODY DARES TO ENTRY THE MALARIAN GATES”

Afterwards we see a march of warrior mosquitoes and a war between on the one hand mosquitoes and toads and, on the other hand, Jason and Medea. Medea is captivated like a lady in a silent film should be. But Jason saves her and wins the enemy army with help of a digger.

“AND JASON SLASHED THE ENEMY IN THE FATAL, BLOODY ENCOUNTER”
“A DIGGER RUN BOLDLY TO HELP THE FRIEND”

After the victory, Jason gives Medea the Fleece and a citrus which is hidden inside it.
Medea eats the fruit and they start to sow fields and to plant vineyards. Time goes by and the land gives plentiful crops. Medea and Jason dance happily near trees full of crops.

The film ends with a kiss of the characters.

Analysis

The film is extremely important, because it is probably the first animation on a Greek mythology topic made in the Soviet Union, and it was the first ever Georgian animation film. The topic of the Argonauts was used often in the Soviet cinema, because of its connection with one of the territories of the USSR (Georgia). Other Soviet productions on this topic are The Argonauts, dir. A. Snezhko-Blotskaia, 1971, The Argonauts or A Merry Chronicle of a Dangerous Voyage, dir. E. Ginzburg, 1986.

Vladimir Mujiri’s film is produced in the style of early Soviet propaganda animations glorifying achievements of industry and agriculture. It contains elements of Georgian tradition: costumes, songs, and customs.

The production of this cartoon in 1930s Georgia and its use in propaganda prove that the myth was known to a wide audience and was perceived as belonging to the traditional culture. This historical period was difficult for Georgians because of repressions and ideological struggle. Due to the propaganda character of the film, we may suppose that Jason and Medea may symbolize Bolsheviks, who work on renewal of Soviet Georgia.

The atmosphere of the cartoon is cheerful and glorious. The drawings were made by one of the most famous Georgian artists, Lado Gudiashvili.


Further Reading

Asenin, Sergei, Волшебники экрана [The Magicians of the Screen], Moskva: Iskusstvo, 1974, 256–257.

Bakhtadze, Vakhtang, “Идти собственным путем” [To go by own way], in Мудрость вымысла [The Wisdom of Fiction], ed. by Sergei Asenin, Moskva: Iskusstvo, 1983, 45–49.

Энциклопедия отечественной мультипликации [The Encyclopedia of Russian Animation], sost. S. V. Kapkova, Moskva: Algoritm, 2006, 454.

Ginzburg, Semën, Рисованный и кукольный фильм. Очерки развития советской мультипликационной кинематографии [Drown-on and Stop-motion Film. Essays on History of Soviet Animated Cinematography], Moskva: Iskusstvo, 1957, 150, 242.

Profile at kinopoisk.ru (accessed; August 17, 2018).

Addenda

The Remaining Production Credits:
Screenwriter L. Gugushvili; Music by Shalva Azmaiparashvili; Cinematography by Liubov Kvaliashvili, M. Tservadze; Animators Lado Gudiashvili, Tz. Gozdanov, M. Khubashvili, Revaz Mirzashvili, N. Sulava.

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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

The Argonauts / Colchis [Аргонавты / Колхида]

Studio / Production Company

Goskinprom Gruzii

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Original Language

Russian, Georgian

First Edition Date

1936

First Edition Details

Аргонавты / Колхида [The Argonauts / Colchis]. Directed by Vladimir Mujiri. Tbilisi, 1936. 

Running time

10 min

Genre

Animated films
Black and white films*
Hand-drawn animation (traditional animation)*
Short films

Target Audience

Crossover (6+)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Shalva Azmaiparashvili (Composer)

Shalva Azmaiparashvili (შალვა აზმაიფარაშვილი, Шалва Азмайпарашвили) was a Georgian and Soviet composer and conductor. He worked at theatre and radio. In 1943-53 Azmaiparashvili was the principal conductor of the Georgian radio symphonic orchestra. From 1943 he was the principal conductor of the Georgian State Symphonic Orchestra, from 1954 became its director.



Bio prepared by Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl 


Photograph of Lado Gudiashvili in Paris, in 1925 by Konstantin Zanisi; it is in public domain and available from Russian Wikipedia and the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia (accessed: July 2, 2018).

Lado (Vladimir) Gudiashvili (Artist)

Lado Gudiashvili (ლადო გუდიაშვილი, Ладо Гудиашвили) was one of the most prominent Georgian artists of the 20th century. He studied at the Tiflis School of Fine Arts and Sculpture (1910-14), was a part of futurist movement, then lived in Paris, studying at the Académie Ronson (1919-26), going into “La Ruche” residence together with Amedeo Modighliani, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov and others. His early works were based on medieval Georgian traditions and French symbolism. He was very fond of Caucasian and Persian traditional art. Gudiashvili worked in different styles and techniques. He returned to Soviet Georgia in 1926.

After the return to the USSR Lado Gudiashvili was accepted by the Soviet authorities and even decorated with a badge of honour in 1937. However in 1945 he was expelled from the Communist Party and fired from his teaching position at the Academy of Arts for making frescoes for the Kashveti Church in Tbilisi. In 1958, he once again became an honourable member of society and received the Lenin’s Order and other decorations.


Source:

Official website (accessed: July 2, 2018).

Bio prepared by Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl


Male portrait

Vladimir (Lado) Mujiri (Animator, Director)

Lado Mujiri (ლადო მუჯირი, Владимир Муджири, Vladimir Mudzhiri) was a pioneer of Georgian animation. He studied at the Georgian Academy of Arts. He started to work in film in 1929. According to the database Kino-teatr.ru (accessed: February 21, 2019) he made 15 animation movies from 1930 to 1952. Sergei Asenin, an eminent Soviet critic and historian of animated films, writes that the first Georgian cartoon was produced by Mujiri in 1936 (Argonavtebi). I have no information at what studio Mudjiri made his first four movies (1930-32). He mainly produced propaganda movies, so called “agitational-poster films”.*


Bio prepared by Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl


* Sergei Asenin, Волшебники экрана [The Magicians of the Screen], Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1974, 257.


Summary

This is a black and white silent film with intertitles and music. It relates the feats of the Argonauts which are presented as the draining of the Colchis valley and a war with mosquitoes.

The film starts with a quotation from Lavrentiy Beria: “LET US GIVE LEMONS, TANGERINES AND ORANGES TO THE TABLE OF THE WORKING OF THE SOVIET COUNTRY.”

A young man and a girl dressed in Georgian national costumes sit under a tree having a picnic with shashlik. The man plays music, the girl sings. They are Jason and Medea.

The intertitles say:
“COLCHIS WAS RICH IN THE GOLDEN FLEECE SINCE A LONG TIME”
“WE HAVE AN IMPORTANT TASK — TO DRAIN WHOLE COLCHIS!”
“BLACK-EYED MEDEA WAS ATTRACTED BY THE GOLDEN FLEECE”
“AND JASON, BURNING WITH LOVE, PROMISED HER TO GIVE HER ALL COLCHIS”

Jason and Medea start a journey. They put their belongings on a donkey that accompanies them. We see changing Georgian landscapes. There are some obstacles on their way — they have to cross a river and make a catapult to do it.

The real problems start when the couple comes to malaria swamps.
“MOSQUITOS WATCHES PROTECT FORESTS AND SWAMPS”
“AND NOBODY DARES TO ENTRY THE MALARIAN GATES”

Afterwards we see a march of warrior mosquitoes and a war between on the one hand mosquitoes and toads and, on the other hand, Jason and Medea. Medea is captivated like a lady in a silent film should be. But Jason saves her and wins the enemy army with help of a digger.

“AND JASON SLASHED THE ENEMY IN THE FATAL, BLOODY ENCOUNTER”
“A DIGGER RUN BOLDLY TO HELP THE FRIEND”

After the victory, Jason gives Medea the Fleece and a citrus which is hidden inside it.
Medea eats the fruit and they start to sow fields and to plant vineyards. Time goes by and the land gives plentiful crops. Medea and Jason dance happily near trees full of crops.

The film ends with a kiss of the characters.

Analysis

The film is extremely important, because it is probably the first animation on a Greek mythology topic made in the Soviet Union, and it was the first ever Georgian animation film. The topic of the Argonauts was used often in the Soviet cinema, because of its connection with one of the territories of the USSR (Georgia). Other Soviet productions on this topic are The Argonauts, dir. A. Snezhko-Blotskaia, 1971, The Argonauts or A Merry Chronicle of a Dangerous Voyage, dir. E. Ginzburg, 1986.

Vladimir Mujiri’s film is produced in the style of early Soviet propaganda animations glorifying achievements of industry and agriculture. It contains elements of Georgian tradition: costumes, songs, and customs.

The production of this cartoon in 1930s Georgia and its use in propaganda prove that the myth was known to a wide audience and was perceived as belonging to the traditional culture. This historical period was difficult for Georgians because of repressions and ideological struggle. Due to the propaganda character of the film, we may suppose that Jason and Medea may symbolize Bolsheviks, who work on renewal of Soviet Georgia.

The atmosphere of the cartoon is cheerful and glorious. The drawings were made by one of the most famous Georgian artists, Lado Gudiashvili.


Further Reading

Asenin, Sergei, Волшебники экрана [The Magicians of the Screen], Moskva: Iskusstvo, 1974, 256–257.

Bakhtadze, Vakhtang, “Идти собственным путем” [To go by own way], in Мудрость вымысла [The Wisdom of Fiction], ed. by Sergei Asenin, Moskva: Iskusstvo, 1983, 45–49.

Энциклопедия отечественной мультипликации [The Encyclopedia of Russian Animation], sost. S. V. Kapkova, Moskva: Algoritm, 2006, 454.

Ginzburg, Semën, Рисованный и кукольный фильм. Очерки развития советской мультипликационной кинематографии [Drown-on and Stop-motion Film. Essays on History of Soviet Animated Cinematography], Moskva: Iskusstvo, 1957, 150, 242.

Profile at kinopoisk.ru (accessed; August 17, 2018).

Addenda

The Remaining Production Credits:
Screenwriter L. Gugushvili; Music by Shalva Azmaiparashvili; Cinematography by Liubov Kvaliashvili, M. Tservadze; Animators Lado Gudiashvili, Tz. Gozdanov, M. Khubashvili, Revaz Mirzashvili, N. Sulava.

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