'Variety' Salutes Bulgarian Director, Names Him One of Top Ten to Watch

Society » CULTURE | April 3, 2013, Wednesday // 14:21
Bulgaria: 'Variety' Salutes Bulgarian Director, Names Him One of Top Ten to Watch Critics have hailed Emil Hristov’s remarkable and exuberant sense of strangeness, as well as his very specific appreciation for the early work of John Updike. Photo by BGNES

On the heels of wide public and critical acclaim, comes the news that industry bible Variety Magazine has named Bulgarian Emil Hristov one of its 10 European Directors to Watch.

This is the first time that a Bulgarian director has made his way to the prestigious ranking.

Bulgarian movie "The Color of the Chameleon" of director Emil Hristov will feature at the upcoming Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the sidebar, "Variety's Ten Euro Directors to Watch."

"The Color of the Chameleon" centers on misfit youth turned engraving plant employee Batko Stamenov (codename: Marzipan), who is recruited by the secret police to infiltrate a book reading group.

In this stylized, lurid, archly literary pastiche of espionage thriller and coming-of-age story, the Bulgarian director Emil Christov imagines the end of Communism as the dramatic replacement of one reality with another.

Or maybe the collapse of one form of absurdity and the triumph of another. Either way, a handsome, intense young man named Batko (Rushi Vidinliev) finds himself embroiled in interlocking conspiracies, and the viewer bounces dizzily from satire to suspense to political allegory.

Recruited by the secret police to spy on a group of ridiculous intellectuals, Batko turns his existence into an elaborate series of plots and counterplots.

In the process he reveals himself to be either the most cynical person in Bulgaria or the only one who could be described as sincere.

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Tags: Rushi Vidinliev, Batko, Bulgarian, film, The Colour of the Chameleon, communist, Bulgaria, secret police, New Directors/New Movies Festival, Emil Hristov
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