Growing Up

This is a Proustian venture, inspired by my childhood memories from disparate countries in the former USSR, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean world. Although based on my own happy, sad and even bizarre childhood experiences, this project tackles a universal theme: the personal rites of passage, with the array of character-shaping events, personalities and psychological innuendoes. The objective is to create a Fellini-like world of its own, at once recognizable and immediate yet ultimately enigmatic, tragicomic, absurd and contradictory. The viewer is invited to see the world through the eyes of an impressionable child or the impertinent viewfinder of the ironic paparazzo (Marcello Mastroianni) from La Docle Vita, whereby ordinary hum-drum reality may resume either into mythopoetics or the absurd. Hence images off sun-worshiping beach-goers, imperious teachers, domineering mothers, weird relatives and strangers and old men are juxtaposed with an ambience forlorn solitary smoking, expectation, frustration, emptiness, longing and sexual-tension. The boundary of the past and the present merge into a continuum of evolving characters, scenes, incidents, encounters, pleasures and small scale tragedy. The humor is overt but tinged with undercurrents of melancholy and even despair.

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