Like a long note on the steppe, like a nomadic poem

Yasmin 2022-07-04 20:49:51

I watched a movie at home, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors", produced in the former Soviet Union in 1964. The director is Parajanov.

The movie I've seen in the past few years, this is the one that impressed me the most.

Very simple plot. There are no rare sights. There is no effect. However, each picture is unforgettable, but it is different from the vulgarity of some contemporary directors. The movement of the camera is indulgent and unrestrained, like a long tune on the grassland, like a nomadic poem.

After watching the expansion piece that comes with the disc, I call it an expressionist or impressionist style. Also saw some of the director's collages.

His "Pomegranate Color", ready to watch next time. But that film was edited by someone else on his behalf, and even the title of the film was changed, because the original film failed to pass the censorship.

In the expansion also saw a tidbit. When the director was first arrested in 1973, he was charged with "homosexuality and the smuggling of religious symbols." However, this is different from what I saw later on Wikipedia, which is more interesting. There are many pictures of him in the expansion. I don't know what his sexual orientation is, but when I looked at him in the photo, he looked at me with a bit of sensuality.

The following is excerpted from Wikipedia. --------------------

Sergei Parajanov (January 9, 1924 - July 20, 1990), a famous Soviet film director, was born in Tiberias, Georgia, and is an Armenian. He is known for his poetic films and is considered one of the greatest film directors of the 20th century.

early experience

Sergei Parajanov was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, the capital of the former Soviet Union, to Armenian parents. Parajanov was exposed to art at an early age because of his parents' cultivation of art. In 1945, he entered the directing department of the Gerasimov Film Academy in Moscow, under the tutelage of Igor Savchenko and Alexander Duvrenko.

In 1950, Parajanov married his first wife Nizar Korimova in Moscow. Korimova came from a Tatar Muslim family and converted to Orthodoxy in order to marry Parajanov. This act had tragic consequences: her relatives killed her in retaliation for her conversion to the Orthodox Church. After his wife's tragedy, Parajanov left Russia for Kyiv, Ukraine, where he made several documentaries and some feature films based on Ukrainian and Moldovan folktales. In 1956 he married Svetlana Cherbachuk and their son was born in 1958.

A break with realism

Tarkovsky's "Ivan's Childhood" was a huge influence on Parajanov's awakening of cinematic genius. In 1964, he abandoned the realist style in favor of directing the poetic "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors", his first entirely personal inspiration, which gave him international success. He won many honors and became his famous work. The film's genius uses elements of color, clothing, music and camera to recreate a forgotten world (Ukrainian Carpathians). Despite the film's winning streak, and even being compared to Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin," it failed the authorities' scrutiny. Parajanov was also blacklisted for refusing to make changes to his work.

After that, Parajanov left Kyiv and returned to his native Armenia. In harsh conditions, he filmed his masterpiece, Shail-Nova, in 1968 at low cost. Censors banned the film on the grounds that it contained inflammatory content. Parajanov revised the script and renamed the film The Color of Pomegranates. There are almost no lines in the whole film, but the soul and art are integrated to create an incredible magical mood, which has become his most symbolic peak work.

Prison and late works

In December 1973, after authorities gradually suspected that Parajanov had a rebellious propensity (especially bisexuality), the authorities finally sentenced him to a Siberian labor camp on charges of "raping a party member and distributing obscene materials". Five years of hard labor.

Three days before the verdict, Tarkovsky wrote to Ukrainian authorities: "In the past decade, Sergey Parajanov has only made two films: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. and The Color of Pomegranates. They first affected Ukraine, then the entire Soviet Union, and finally the whole world. In the field of art, there are few people in the world who can replace Parajanov. He is guilty - because he is unique And sinful. And we are sinful, for not thinking about him every day, not recognizing the importance of a master.”

An eclectic group of artists, filmmakers and activists also protested for Parajanov, including Yves Saint Laurent, Frances Sagan, Godard, Truffaut, Buñuel , Fellini, Antonioni, Tarkovsky and Mikhail Vartanov, but with little success. Parajanov eventually served four years in prison and was released a year early.

He later attributed his early release to the efforts of French surrealist poet Louis Aragon, his wife Russian Elsa Triole and American writer John Updike. It is likely that Aragon made a request after Brezhnev and Aragon and others had talks.

Parajanov created numerous small sculptures, paintings and collages in prison, many of which were later exhibited in Yerevan.

After returning to Tbilisi, where surveillance by the authorities made it difficult for Parajanov to continue filmmaking, he instead continued his art in prison, including collages, abstract paintings, and sewing toys and costumes.

In February 1982, Parajanov was jailed again on charges of bribery. After serving less than a year in prison, he was released due to deteriorating health.

By 1984, with the arrival of the thaw period, Parajanov's enthusiasm for making films was rekindled. Encouraged by some Georgian intellectuals, he directed "The Legend of the Castle of Suram" and received many honors. In 1988, based on Lermontov's work, he directed "The Bard" ("Ash Kaili"), which he dedicated to his friends Tarkovsky and all children in the world.

In his later years, he devoted all his energy to the final masterpiece, but his health continued to deteriorate. On July 20, 1990, Parajanov died in Yerevan, Armenia, at the age of 66. His work was ultimately unfinished, as was his autobiography.

After his death, Fellini, Tonino Guera, Rossi, Alberto Moravia, Giulietta Massina, Marcello Mastroiani, Bertolucci Everyone expressed their condolences. "The world of cinema has lost a magician," wrote a telegram to Russia.


Despite having studied film at the prestigious Gerasimov Film Academy, Parajanov actually discovered his talent in film after watching Tarkovsky's "Ivan's Childhood."

Parajanov has many admirers, but like many film masters, his unique on-screen language makes it difficult for him to have followers. He once said, "Those who try to imitate me will lose their way."

Still, directors like Angelopoulos and Bella Tarr have followed a similar artistic path to Parajanov's, using film as a visual medium as opposed to literature.

Alexey Korochukov commented: "Parajanov's films are not about showing how things are, but about how things would be if he were God."

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