Synopsis

‘American Mirror – Intimations of Immortality’ features Oscar-winning screen icon Susan Sarandon and Armenian painter Tigran Tsitoghdzyan as he limns her portrait during a timeless sitting session, while actress Florence Faivre plays the intriguing role of the ever-present though unattainable artist’s Muse. It was most awarded film at its premiere on October 21, 2018, at the DOC LA Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival, garnering Best Innovative Film, Best Composer, Best Cinematography and Parajanov-Vartanov Award.

‘American Mirror – Intimations of Immortality’ aims to expand our ordinary perception of time as the director introduces ‘a documentary on the unconscious’. From this perspective these characters -an artist, muses painted by him, the NYC society as a catalyzer- transcend the banausic pace of the world surrounding them, joining in a kind of shared visionary creative process, as if engulfed in each other’s dream. Balder lays out the dream-like narratives of both the artist and his haunting muses -main parts assigned to Susan Sarandon and Florence Faivre-, whom Tigran paints, or dreams to paint.

‘Intimations of Immortality’ is a reference taken from a famous ode of British Romantic poet William Wordsworth, ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’.

Oscar-winning screen icon Susan Sarandon and Armenian painter Tigran Tsitoghdzyan discuss how the apparently in conflict values of beauty and aging are perceived in our modern society dominated by social media, as he limns her portrait during a timeless sitting session.

With this film the director, Arthur Balder, sets in motion his theory on poetics of cinematic art, by re-creating sense memories of an artist in a non-linear, challenging story-telling scheme. ‘Intimations of Immortality’ is a reference taken from the famous ode by British Romantic poet William Wordsworth, ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’. For Wordsworth, poetry was all about the ‘memories’ we have of past events. The reconstruction of deep thought-processes, which we can call memories but also omens and other sort of ‘visions’, imagery occurring in the mind’s eye of the subject, thus entirely ‘subjective’ since their inception, are the intriguing matter of the picture.

THE SUBJECT

The film, straddling the frontier between documentary and fiction, reveals how Tigran, a highly dedicated craftsman, tries to bring the ancient spirit of the old masters into a unique post-modern hyperrealism deeply interwoven with NYC’s culture and social landscape. Shot over the period of three years, the film takes us on a rare, thought-provoking, timeless reality-and-fiction setting to reveal how one of the most striking artists in recent art history climbs up the art-world ranks on the winding journey to success and recognition. The presence of legendary art critic Donald Kuspit resonates for a moment as the voice of a Deus-Ex-Machina from a remote museum back in the 20th Century.

From producer David Shara and writer-director Arthur Balder, with an original soundtrack by composer Mark Petrie, ‘American Mirror – Intimations of Immortality’ stars Susan Sarandon, Tigran Tsitoghdzyan, and Florence Faivre. With the participation of Donald Kuspit, Ashley Hinshaw Grace, Jules Wainstein, Hilary Rhoda, Morgan Shara, Ryan Ross, Sirey Moran.