Big Talk: Dea Kulumbegashvili & Nicolás Jaar


IFFR 2021

A sense of danger permeates the calm images in Dea Kulumbegashvili’s award-winning feature debut, Beginning, in which Yana, a Georgian Jehova’s Witness, resists patriarchal society. The subtle, assured use of sound, noise, tone and music also contribute to the building of a sultry, ominous atmosphere.

Beginning comes across as an extremely quiet film, so it’s all the more remarkable that the soundtrack was composed by Chilean musician, composer and club artist Nicolás Jaar, who also created the prominent film music for Pablo Larraín’s firey Ema (2019) and Jacques Audiard’s explosive Dheepan (2015). Jaar also made an alternative, melodic soundtrack for Sergei Parajanov’s virtuoso The Colour of Pomegranates (1968), eventually released as the album Pomegranates. In Beginning, the music may not be as front and centre but Jaar’s signature nevertheless resonates through the film's gossamer sound design.

The Georgian director of one of this year’s festival hits and the versatile Chilean composer will discuss their oeuvres, their collaboration on Beginning and the crossovers between their fields of endeavour. Moderated by Hugo Emmerzael, film and music critic, they will investigate the relationship between sound and image, noise and music; between silence and non-silence and between texture and melody. What these makers have in common is that they see sound and image as landscapes upon which they are able to construct their work.