Vilnius Poker: Cinematographic project

For 700 years, Vilnius has played many important roles, but to celebrate its anniversary, the city is starring in the film Vilnius Poker. Based on Richard Gavelis’ legendary novel Vilnius Poker, the film promises to shape Vilnius’ identity and enchant audiences with its brightness, mystical atmosphere and jazz music.

To portray the spirit of Vilnius as accurately as possible, many Lithuanian artists – jazz musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers – have contributed to the film’s development. Vilnius Poker is unimaginable without Vilnius, jazz and art. So, the film is giving the city more than one present for its anniversary – a film, jazz concerts and exhibitions. Immerse yourself in the fantastic world of Vilnius and experience the magic of the city on the silver screen and in the world of art. Cinematic Vilnius will captivate you at first sight.

A new legend of Vilnius is born

Born from the legend of the Iron Wolf, Vilnius itself has become a legendary city. Ričardas Gavelis revealed Vilnius as the main character in his novel Vilnius Poker. To celebrate Vilnius’ 700-year-anniversary, the movie gives Vilnius the opportunity to play itself – a city-legend, a city-fantasy, a city-vision where there is no past, present or future, where the present and history, reality and visions take place at the same time and are equally real. The mythology of the novel, the Vilnius beings the author describes, and the character of Vilnius as a predator captivate the audience from the start and reflect Lithuania’s identity.

Even though the novel takes place in 1989, the filmmakers have brought the movie into the present day, which provides an opportunity to reveal the interwar, post-war, Soviet and contemporary Vilnius with all its virtues and flaws. To avoid ending up in a value swamp, critical thinking is always essential to society in all regimes.

Vilnius as the main character

The culture of Vilnius is extremely diverse. For over 700 years, the city has been constantly changing, remaining relevant to this day. To celebrate its anniversary, it’s time to create a new legend with a bold future, combining the lines of historical and modern mythology. Vilnius Poker is a mystified story about life, love and death in a city that exists beyond time, memory and reality. The bright and controversial film will enchant viewers in this milestone year, inviting them to discuss and discover new meanings of Vilnius.

This movie reveals a different perspective to every viewer – in Vilnius Poker, the city plays an exceptional character and forms a new Lithuanian urban mythology. Following the path of the novel is always tempting; it’s a different way to get to know the city, especially when this novel is the legendary Vilnius Poker.

Vilnius Poker with the sounds of jazz

Jazz is an inseparable motif of the novel Vilnius Poker, but it sounds anew in the novel’s contemporary on-screen adaptation. Cooperating with the Lithuanian jazz community, the filmmakers created a soundtrack for the film that also serves as a full-fledged avant-garde Vilnius Poker concert programme, which is being presented as a separate event during the film’s premiere.

As one of the main scenes of the novel takes place in an abandoned church, where musicians secretly perform an avant-garde jazz composition of stunning intensity, the programme is being presented in one of Vilnius’ churches. Thus, to celebrate its 700th anniversary, Vilnius is receiving a film as well as a unique jazz composition that reflects the constantly changing and modern face of the city. The heart of Vilnius will beat to the rhythm of jazz.

A city with an artistic soul

In Vilnius Poker, the city is revealed as a city-being or a city-beast – alive, breathing, intimidating, enchanting, inspiring. Therefore, art plays a crucial role here.

In cooperation with local artists, the filmmakers have initiated an exhibition of Vilnius Poker paintings and sculptures where viewers can see the works used in the filming of the movie. The Lithuanian photography community has also contributed to the exhibition. Photographers are exhibiting their work and revealing their relationship with Vilnius. In addition, impressive costumes were created especially for the film. The shooting process itself was extraordinary, and many of its moments have been captured by photographers. For those interested in going behind the scenes, an exhibition of these photographs will make viewers feel like they’re part of the film.

These exhibitions allow audiences to look at the many faces of the city, the magical life of Vilnius and even see the soul of Vilnius. Discover the many perspectives of Vilnius Poker.

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