Georgiy Daneliya Bio
Georgiy Daneliya 25 August 1930 – 4 April 2019), also known as Giya Daneliya, was a Soviet and Russian film director and screenwriter. He was named a People’s Artist of the USSR in 1989.
Georgiy Daneliya Early life
Georgiy Daneliya was born in Tbilisi into a Georgian family. His father Nikolai Dmitrievich Danelia (1902–1981) came from peasants. He moved to Moscow following the October Revolution, finished the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering and joined Mosmetrostroy where he spent the rest of his life working as an engineer and a manager at different levels. Georgiy’s mother Maria Ivlianovna Anjaparidze (1905–1980) belonged to a noble Anjaparidze family known since the 13th century and recognized by the Russian Empire in 1880. She worked as a film director, a second unit director and an assistant director at the Tbilisi Film Studio and Mosfilm. Her sister (Daneliya’s aunt) Veriko Anjaparidze was a popular Georgian stage and cinema actress who was married to Mikheil Chiaureli, a prominent Soviet film director. Their daughter Sofiko Chiaureliwas also a famous actress who later starred in Daneliya’s comedy Don’t Grieve along with her mother.
Georgiy Daneliya Family
In a year after Daneliya’s birth his family moved to Moscow where he grew up and entered the primary school. By the time the Great Patriotic War started he and his mother were staying at their relatives in Tbilisi where they spent the next two years. His father was sent to the front line to build underground command and control centers. He didn’t take part in battles but was still awarded the rank of major general for his work. In 1943 the family reunited back in Moscow.
Georgiy Daneliya Career
Daneliya started his career by playing episodic roles in several movies directed by his uncle Mikheil Chiaureli. In 1955 he graduated from the Moscow Architecture Institute and worked as an architect for the next two years. In 1956 the Higher Director’s Courses were founded at the Mosfilm Studio, and Daneliya decided to enter them. His course was led by Mikhail Kalatozov, also a good friend of his mother. He graduated in 1959 and joined Mosfilm the same year.
His first feature Seryozha (also known as Splendid Days outside of the Soviet Union) was co-written and co-directed by his friend Igor Talankin. It was based on the popular novel of the same name by a prominent Soviet writer Vera Panova and featured Sergei Bondarchuk and his wife Irina Skobtseva in the leading roles. The movie was well-received, and the same year it was sent to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival where it was awarded with the Crystal Globe.
In 1963 Daneliya invited a young talent Gennady Shpalikov to collaborate on his first comedy film. By that time Shpalikov had already fallen out of favour for writing Ilyich’s Gate, a movie which Nikita Khrushchev compared to an ideological diversion. To avoid censorship, Danelia paid a visit to Vladimir Baskakov, one of the head officials at the State Committee for Cinematography, and assured him they had nothing tricky on their minds. After that the work became “easy, fast and fun”. They ended up with a movie Walking the Streets of Moscow inspired by the French New Wave, similar to Ilyich’s Gate in style and mood. This alarmed the Artistic Council, an executive body responsible for pre-production and post-production. They saw no point in the movie. Daneliya and Shaplikov then came up with a “meaningful” episode (a floor polisher who works at the house of a big writer and criticizes beginning writers on this account), mocking the Council along the way, and a new genre of “lyric (or sad) comedy” which became Daneliya’s trademark.
Georgiy Daneliya Movies
The movie starred Nikita Mikhalkov in his first major role and became one of the most characteristic films of the Khrushchev Thaw. It was widely praised and officially selected for the 1964 Cannes Film Festival. Nevertheless, Daneliya’s next work Thirty Three, a satirical comedy that made fun of the Khrushchev era, wasn’t tolerated and became quickly banned from theaters after its initial release in 1965. According to Daneliya, it was still showed at small theaters and various clubs throughout the 1970s, so that by the time the so-called glasnost was proclaimed, it turned out that “everyone had managed to watch my super-banned movie”.
Daneliya decided to switch back to his sad comedies instead of straight-up satire. The following years he produced a whole number of highly successful movies that established him as one of the leading Soviet comedy directors. Among his most famous works were Afonya (1975) about an unlucky plumber, Mimino (1977) about a Georgian pilot’s adventures in Moscow, The Autumn Marathon (1979) about a translator vacillating between his wife and mistress, and Gentlemen of Fortune (1971) where Daneliya acted as a creative director and a screenwriter.
Georgiy DaneliyaGeorgiy Daneliya Later Carrer
Gentlemen of Fortune gathered 65 million viewers on the year of release and became the 12th most viewed Soviet film, while Afonya was seen by 62.2 million people, reaching the 15th place. Mimino won the Golden Prize at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival. The Autumn Marathon received the Golden Shell at the 1979 San Sebastián International Film Festival as well as two Pasinetti Awards at the 36th Venice International Film Festival.
In 1976 he was a member of the jury at the 26th Berlin International Film Festival. In 1986 Daneliya directed a cult classic sci-fi film Kin-dza-dza!.
More recently, he was involved in an animation project Ku! Kin-dza-dza! (a straight remake of his earlier work Kin-dza-dza!) and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Russian Academy of Cinema Arts. Between 2003 and 2015 he also published a trilogy of memoirs entitled “A Passenger Without a Ticket“, “Toasted Drains To the Dregs” and “The Cat Is Gone, But the Smile Is Left“. They are written in a typical Danelian manner, mixing laugh-out-loud anecdotes with some sad memories and lyrical life stories.
Georgiy Daneliya Personal life
Daneliya was officially married two times. His first wife (1951–1956) was Irina Ginzburg, a lawyer, daughter of a high-ranking Soviet official Semyon Ginzburg, at the time a Deputy Minister of Oil Industry of the USSR. They had a daughter Svetlana Daneliya who also became a lawyer. Between 1957 and 1984 Daneliya lived in a civil union with an acclaimed Russian actress Lyubov Sergeyevna Sokolova who appeared in a number of his movies. They had a son Nikolai Sokolov-Daneliya (1959–1985), a film director and a poet who died at the age of 26 following an “accident”. Some claimed it was a drug overdose. Shortly before his death Daneliya left the family for Galina Ivanovna Yurkova (born 1944), a film director and his regular collaborator since then. He adopted her son Kirill (born 1968) and gave him his surname; Kirill became an artist. Daneliya has six grandchildren.
Georgiy Daneliya Cause of Death
In 1980 Georgiy Daneliya survived a clinical death after being diagnosed with peritonitis and spent a year in the hospital. Today he rarely leaves his apartment. According to his wife Galina Yurkova-Daneliya, he has been suffering from a progressing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for many years.
Jese Bal born Nov 9, 1982, is a novelist and poet. He has published novels, volumes of poetry, short stories, and drawings. His works are distinguished by the use of a spare style and have been compared to those of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino.