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.Read More »
Serge Avedikian & Olena Fetisova – Paradjanov (2013)
Sergei Parajanov – Sayat Nova AKA The Color of Pomegranates (1968)
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.Read More »
Ron Holloway – Paradjanov: A Requiem (1994)
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.Read More »
Sergei Parajanov – Kiev Frescos (1966)
A lyrical portrait of life in a contemporary Armenian village following the devastation of an earthquake and the fall of communism.
Kievski Freski Dir Sergei Paradjanov (Kiev Frescos) 1966. 35mm. 13 mins
Paradjanov assembled this “film collage” from the rushes and tests that remained unscathed after the Soviet authorities halted the production of Kiev Frescos and ordered the negative to be destroyed.
When the Soviet authorities were imposing on a multi-national country the artificial conception of a “homogeneous Soviet people”, Paradjanov was defending those nations’ very diversity and uniqueness. Through films and documentaries (both by Paradjanov and others), this programme attempts to trace Paradjanov’s creative journeys through Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia.
Soon after the Soviet authorities stopped the shooting of Kiev Frescos (Kievski Freski) in 1966, Sergei Paradjanov left Dovchenko film studios in Kiev for Armenfilm in Yerevan. There he started work on a feature length homage to Sayat Nova, the pseudonym of the Haroutine Sayadian (Tblissi, 1712 – 1795), an Armenian poet and bard, who wrote in Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani.Read More »