On August 25, 2020, the great Soviet and Russian film director Georgiy (Giya) Daneliya could have turned 90 years old. He could, but in 2019 he was gone.
Giya Daneliya was born on August 25, 1930 in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia, USSR, in the family of railway engineer Nikolai Daneliya, of peasant origin, and his wife Mary Andzhaparidze, who had noble roots and worked as an economist. In 1931, the Daneliya family moved to Moscow, where the father of the future director began to work on the construction of the metro. And Giya became Georgiy.
Georgiy's uncle, or rather the husband of his mother's sister, Mikheil Chiaureli, played an important role in introducing the boy to cinema. Mikheil Chiaureli, a prominent figure in Georgian theater and cinema, the creator of a number of films praising Stalin's rule and thanks to this, got into Stalin's close circle of friends, attracted his nephew from his age of 12 to participate in crowd scenes in his films. Thanks to the influence of Mikheil Chiaureli (by the way, the father of the famous actress Sofiko Chiaureli), Georgy's mother also joined the cinema, changing the profession of an economist, first to work as an assistant director at the Tbilisi Film Studio, and then at Mosfilm.
In short, by the time he graduated from school, Georgiy Daneliya had all the prerequisites to follow in the footsteps of his uncle and mother, but ... Georgiy instead entered an architectural institute and after graduation worked as an architect for some time.
But in 1956, when his uncle fell into disgrace after Stalin's death and instead of working at Mosfilm he worked first at the Sverdlovsk film studio, and then at the Georgia-Film studio, Georgiy abandoned architecture and entered the Higher Director's Courses in the studio of Mikhail Kalatozov (more precisely - Kalatozishvili). Perhaps this admission was facilitated by Kalatozishvili's acquaintance with Mary Andjaparidze.
After completing the courses in 1960, Georgiy Daneliya, together with Igor Talankin, shot the film "A Summer to Remember (Splendid Days)", which immediately received international recognition. The National Board of Review of the USA included this film in the five best foreign films of the year, which, along with the film of Daneliya and Talankin, included such film masterpieces as "La Dolce Vita" by Federico Fellini, "La ciociara (Two Women)" by Vittorio De Sica, "Die Brücke (The Bridge)" by Bernhard Wicki. In addition, the film "A Summer to Remember (Splendid Days)" won the main prize - Crystal Globe - at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and a Special Mention (highest recognition for foreign films) at the film festival in the Greek city of Thessaloniki.
In 1965, for the film "33", which appeared on the screens after the end of the so-called "Khrushchev thaw", Georgiy Daneliya by the head of the KGB Semichastny was accused of anti-Soviet propaganda and an attempt to discredit the USSR's achievements in space exploration. The consequence was the excommunication of Daneliya from cinematic creativity for 4 years.
Georgiy Daneliya's cinematic career as a director of full-length feature films lasted 40 years - from 1960 to 2000. In 2000, the 70-year-old director, full of strength and creative energy, stopped his career as a filmmaker. For the last 19 years of his life, Georgiy Daneliya made only an animated version of his film "Kin-Dza-Dza!" How symbolic it is!
For 40 years of his creative career as a film director, Georgiy Daneliya has shot 15 full-length feature films. 8 of them entered the Golden Thousand. Based on this, Georgiy Daneliya is included in the list of the 100 greatest directors of world cinema, compiled by FilmGourmand. To commemorate the anniversary of the great master, we want to remind admirers of his work frames from his best films included in the Golden Thousand.