Oleg and the Rare Arts

Spain, 2016
dir. Andrés Duque

Who is this man who looks as if he stepped out of a story by Gogol? The legendary Oleg Nikolaevitch Karavaychuk is the mysterious and moving subject of this loving film by the director Duque. He was moved by the music the pianist composed for a film by Kira Muratova and is the first foreigner to win the trust of the eccentric and still active 89-year-old Russian.


Oleg Nikolayevich Karavaychuk (born 1927) played the piano for Stalin as a child prodigy, attended the Leningrad Conservatory and in the course of his career primarily wrote music for theatre and film – for instance, for Paradjanov and Muratova. In Russia, he is admired for his music and his playing, but also for his unique and eccentric personality. At the age of 89, Karavaychuk is still a controversial and puzzling figure in Russian culture.

The beautiful film that Andrés Duque made about him is a gift to the viewer, a gift from an old artist who wants to be reconciled with the world and who transports us away from reality with words, gestures and piano playing, free of social conventions, to a world where clashing dissonance has a liberating beauty.

UK premiere, Skype Q&A with the director

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Calvert 22