*My Grandmother.* 1929. USSR. Directed by Konstantin Mikaberidze. Courtesy UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Held in conjunction with MoMA’s Discovering Georgian Cinema exhibition, this special presentation, introduced by Peter Bagrov, Curator of the Russian state archive Gosfilmofond in Moscow, features a live performance by Beth Custer Ensemble of an original score commissioned by Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA). With thanks to the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Chemi Bebia/Moya Babushka (My Grandmother). 1929. USSR. Directed and cowritten by Kote Mikaberidze. Russian intertitles; simultaneous English translation. 65 min.

With Aleksandre Takaishvili, Bella Chernova, E. Ovanov. Mikaberidze’s satire of Soviet bureaucracy is a genuine piece of grotesquerie, a Georgian version of the antic experiments of FEKS (the Factory of the Eccentric Actor). The film’s most memorable character is a wide-eyed, wild-haired wife of a bureaucrat, caught up in a frenzy of bourgeois living. Her equally comic husband, modeled after Harold Lloyd, personifies the indolence and irrelevance of a State system that resembles nothing so much as a roundtable defended by benighted stooges. When the husband loses his job, he learns the value of a “grandmother”—a slang term for the boodle that moves the table round. This irreverent blast, complete with Constructivist sets and deconstructivist slapstick, has lost none of its bite.

  1. Friday, November 28, 2014,
    7:00 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2
  2. Saturday, November 22, 2014,
    7:00 p.m.

    Introduced by Peter Bagrov, Curator, Gosfilmofund; musical accompaniment by Beth Custer Ensemble
    The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T1, Theater 1