Originally, Documentarist was intended as a traditional documentary about a country that has to face challenging problems such as war, unemployment, extreme poverty, mass emigration, alcoholism and crime. Unfortunately, Harutyun Khachatryan did not raise enough state money in order to make the film he wanted to and therefore had to settle for a different project. Thus, he decided on a very unorthodox narrative strategy. By weaving together different styles, such as documentarist observation and docu-drama approach, he shed a new light on the complexities and challenges a director has to face in order to present a multifaceted picture of reality. Read More »
Armenia’s leading living filmmaker, Harutyun Khachatryan, chose his nation’s 19th century poet, Ashugh Jivani, as his new film’s central spirit. This is hardly accidental, for nothing here is prosaic. Here is a dazzling, alternative vision of a cinema that is essentially poetic, metaphorical and allusive. A work of tactile sensuality, it nominally depicts the step-by-step creation of a monumental statue of the poet that ends up traveling on the back of a truck through the Armenian countryside. From this Khachatryan conjures a transcendental cinematic experience, employing a sublime fusion of sound, image and music to evoke the soul of the director’s beloved country and its people. Read More »
Story of a strong-willed man, Nahapet, who lost his family during the 1915 Genocide! is an eternal story of resurrection.
Nahapet (meaning also patriarch in Armenian) has lost all his family and intimates, his house and properties during the 1915 Genocide. Self-absorbed and reticent, he reminds a withered tree. Same is with the village on the slops of Aragatz mountain where he finds shelter – half-destroyed houses, cowed faces, sun-scorched rocky earth. Could Nahapet find inner strength to build a new house, start a new family, revive the things cast away by the destiny. Eternal story of resurrection, so much symbolic for Armenian nation’s history. Written by Artak Read More »
“Ukrainskaya Rapsodiya” (the USSR, 1961) of Sergueï Paradjanov is a film saga of oceanic proportion with many rivers flowing into it. The characters are the affluents which mix in and distinguish themselves within the furrows of the storyline. An ocean of images but of musics too. Cause the film evolves more by its musical quality, then by its narration.
Orksana, talented student at the Ukrainian Academy likes Antonin whom she met in her youth. Here the love is less tumultuous in retrospect to “Pervyy Paren” (USSR, 1958) of the same Paradjanov, even if a certain formal expression of it remain. In this third feature of the Armenian filmmaker; the Second World war, one of the rare History adaptations of Paradjanov, come to disturb the peaceful flow. “Ukrainskaya Rapsodiya” thus enter in a powerful melody, the railroads, industrial symbols of the river, cross in several plans, as if to illustrate the opulence of the livings. Read More »
The overtly propagandistic, anti-religious plot of The Flower on the Stone (Tsvetok na kamne, Dovzhenko Film Studio 1960–1962) does not look like promising Parajanov material: when a new Komsomol mine and mining community is established in the Donbas region, a member of a Pentecostal cult sends his daughter Christina to recruit new believers. Arsen Zagorny, an upstanding Komsomol member and a talented violinist, falls in love with Christina and crosses paths with Zabroda, the leader of the local cell of the cult. Additional problems crop up in the form of Grigori Griva a local boy prone to hooliganism and drink and his buddy Chmykh, a dissolute accordion player. Grigori learns to mend his ways thanks to the guidance of Pavel Fedorovich Varchenko, the wise and patient director of the mine, and Liuda, the Komsomol organizer with whom he falls in love. The film’s title refers to fossilized plants visible on pieces of coal. Read More »
The history of the Armenian nation from a Marxist point of view.
Illustrated by Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”.
Artavazd Pelechian’s Seasons of the Year (1975), a film-essay about the contradiction
and the harmony between man and nature, was the the 2nd and the last collaboration
with Vartanov, who had directed Autumn Pastoral (1971) from Peleshian’s screenplay.
In the Seasons of the Year (1975), for the first time, Artavazd Pelechian did not use any
archival footage likely due to the exquisite cinematography by Vartanov. Peleshian’s
Seasons of the Year (1975) is one of the 3 most important documentary films made in
Armenia, along with Sergei Parajanov’s Hakop Hovnatanian (1967) and Vartanov’s
Paradjanov: The Last Spring (1992). Read More »
One of the several documentaries dedicated to the great master Sergei Paradjanov, died in 1990. On this occasion, who is behind the camera is the acclaimed director of Armenian origin Don Askarian. The film was produced in 1998 by Don Film in Co-Production with Margarita Woskanian and ZDF-ARTE. Read More »