“Karine”, the first Armenian musical film directed by Arman Manaryan, was screened at London’s Cine Lumiere on the sidelines of British Film Institute’s Musicals! Season on 21 January.
The film was presented by London-based Kino Klassika Foundation, which coordinates the Soviet, Russian and Transcaucasian film seasons, the National Cinema Center of Armenia reported.
Based on an operetta by Tigran Chukhajan, “Karine” (1969) includes everything an operetta is supposed to have: two couples in love, dressing up, kidnapping, amorous misunderstandings and crooked villains brought to account, the foundation’s official website said.
Yet despite the absurdity of the plot and the staid production design, it is the gorgeously voiced vocals and lead performances, which make this as enchanting to watch as any Italian operetta. Performed in Armenian and released shortly after the 1965 demonstrations in Yerevan, it is important to see this film, charming as it is, as a reclamation also of Armenian identity.
Arman Manaryan was a merited Iranian-born Armenian film director. He was the brother of actor Yervand Manaryan. He repatriated to Soviet Armenia in 1946 and graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatory in 1952 and from the Moscow Institute of Cinematography in 1962. Since then he worked with Armenfilm. He passed away in 2016, aged 86.