Sergei Parajanov – Tini Zabutykh Predkiv AKA Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965)

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Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors has often been described as a Carpathian Romeo and Juliet – that is, if Romeo had the tenacity to live after his beloved’s death. Sergei Paradjanov prefaces the tragic tale set in the Carpathian mountains as the land “forgotten by God and men”, and from the austerity of the environment, it is evident that survival comes at a high price. In essence, the story is incidental to the observations of daily peasant life: the Orthodox order of mass, the rites of spring, the rhythm of the sickle cutting the fields. A young man, Ivan (Ivan Nikolaichuk), falls in love with Marichka (Larisa Kadochnikova), the daughter of the man who killed his father. As his mother’s only surviving child, he leaves the village to work as a hired laborer to provide for her. However, before he can return to Marichka, she falls to her death in an attempt to rescue an errant lamb. The story then follows Ivan through his descent into despair, marriage to the sensual Palagna (Tatyana Bestayeva), and Palagna’s inevitable betrayal. Continue reading

Levon Grigoryan – Andrei Tarkovsky & Sergei Parajanov – Islands (1988)

Description: A 40 minute documentary discussing the friendship of Tarkovsky and Parajanov and their contrasting filmmaking styles and personalities, including interviews with friends and associates. Continue reading

Serge Avedikian & Olena Fetisova – Paradjanov (2013)

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Sergei Paradjanov can, without exaggeration, be called one of the most distinctive filmmakers of the 20th century. Indeed, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Andrei Tarkovsky were among the many admirers of his fascinating powers of visualization. This biopic, evincing an original take on the genre, relates some of the key moments in the life and work of this director of genius, a native Armenian who was persecuted by the Soviet authorities. We watch Paradjanov as he makes his ground-breaking films Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and The Colour of Pomegranates, and also during his imprisonment by the communist regime. The filmmakers present Paradjanov as a gifted artist overflowing with ideas, but also as a complicated personality. In creating the film’s artistic vision, the directing duo relies heavily on Paradjanov’s own, unmistakable trademark style, vividly showing the audience his distinctive way of seeing the world. Continue reading

Sergei Parajanov – Sayat Nova AKA The Color of Pomegranates (1968)

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The work of painter, musician, mystic and filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990) constantly defies categorisation. His films are notable for their lyrical inspiration and great aesthetic beauty, but riled the Soviet authorities to such an extent that Paradjanov faced constant harrassment throughout his life. Like his earlier film, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (1965), The Colour of Pomegranates was banned…
Ostensibly a biopic of rebellious 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, The Colour of Pomegranates follows the poet’s path from his childhood wool-dying days to his role as a courtier and finally his life as a monk. But Armenian director Sergei Paradjanov warns us from the start that this is no ordinary biopic: “This is not a true biography,” he has his narrator state during the opening credits. Continue reading

Ron Holloway – Paradjanov: A Requiem (1994)

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The film shows the unique world of artist Sergei Parajanov, whose brilliant images in films and collages aroused the suspicion of Soviet authorities. Unexpectedly, this last all-embracing interview, given at the 1988 München Film Festival, has become a film legacy.

Sergei Parajanov was born an Armenian in Georgia. He studied at the Moscow Film School and worked as a director in the Ukraine. His stylistic vitality and “plasticism” – a term he used to describe his films – enabled him to creative universal images. Continue reading

Sergei Parajanov – Ukrainskaya rapsodiya aka Ukrainian Rhapsody (1961)

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“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. Continue reading