Sergei Parajanov

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MichaelB
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#101 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:57 am

My copy's just shipped, and in the highly likely event that it's any good, one of my best friends is a rabid Parajanov fan with a birthday in early November.

Ishmael
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#102 Post by Ishmael » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:31 pm

jsteffe wrote:Good news, my Parajanov book (The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov) is now in stock and shipping through various outlets. Apparently it is also in stock at some New York Barnes and Noble stores as well, in case you live in that area and want to browse through it.
FYI, on the page you linked, Patrick McGilligan's name is misspelled (in case you have any control over that).

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#103 Post by jsteffe » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:40 pm

Ishmael wrote:
jsteffe wrote:Good news, my Parajanov book (The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov) is now in stock and shipping through various outlets. Apparently it is also in stock at some New York Barnes and Noble stores as well, in case you live in that area and want to browse through it.
FYI, on the page you linked, Patrick McGilligan's name is misspelled (in case you have any control over that).
Thanks for spotting that. I'll let someone at the publisher know.

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MichaelB
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#104 Post by MichaelB » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:06 am

My copy turned up this morning, and a quick glance suggests that it's everything I could have hoped for - many, many congratulations!

So, as promised, I'll be ordering a second copy for my friend's birthday in November, and I look forward to reading it properly when I get a spare moment.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#105 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:01 pm

jsteffe wrote:At long last, my book The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It's scheduled for publication this fall.
Sergei Parajanov (1924–1990) flouted the rules of both filmmaking and society in the Soviet Union and paid a heavy personal price. An ethnic Armenian in the multicultural atmosphere of Tbilisi, Georgia, he was one of the most innovative directors of postwar Soviet cinema. Parajanov succeeded in creating a small but marvelous body of work whose style embraces such diverse influences as folk art, medieval miniature painting, early cinema, Russian and European art films, surrealism, and Armenian, Georgian, and Ukrainian cultural motifs.

The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov is the first English-language book on the director's films and the most comprehensive study of his work. James Steffen provides a detailed overview of Parajanov's artistic career: his identity as an Armenian in Georgia and its impact on his aesthetics; his early films in Ukraine; his international breakthrough in 1964 with Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors; his challenging 1969 masterpiece, The Color of Pomegranates, which was reedited against his wishes; his unrealized projects in the 1970s; and his eventual return to international prominence in the mid-to-late 1980s with The Legend of Suram Fortress and Ashik-Kerib. Steffen also provides a rare, behind-the-scenes view of the Soviet film censorship process and tells the dramatic story of Parajanov's conflicts with the authorities, culminating in his 1973–77 arrest and imprisonment on charges related to homosexuality.

Ultimately, the figure of Parajanov offers a fascinating case study in the complicated dynamics of power, nationality, politics, ethnicity, and culture in the republics of the former Soviet Union.

"In the temple of cinema, there are images, light, and reality. Sergei Parajanov was the master of that temple."—Jean-Luc Godard

"Steffen has managed to capture Parajanov's unique style in a language that is simple and elucidating, making you want to watch his films again and again."—Birgit Beumers, editor of Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
Jim, that's absolutely fantastic! You have a guaranteed reader here. I'll post some thoughts (which I'm sure will be a rave) here after I get my mitts on a copy. I haven't checked yet but if it hasn't been added to the "Books" section of the original post in my thread here I'll do so now and add the link you provided.

EDIT: Books section updated-- Jim's is first on the list since this is an English language forum and his book is the newest and in English to boot.

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#106 Post by jsteffe » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:18 pm

HerrSchreck wrote: Jim, that's absolutely fantastic! You have a guaranteed reader here. I'll post some thoughts (which I'm sure will be a rave) here after I get my mitts on a copy. I haven't checked yet but if it hasn't been added to the "Books" section of the original post in my thread here I'll do so now and add the link you provided.

EDIT: Books section updated-- Jim's is first on the list since this is an English language forum and his book is the newest and in English to boot.
Thanks, HerrSchreck! I'm eager to hear any comments, questions or critiques you and other members of the board have when you have the opportunity to read the book.

In the meantime, I have some additional books and articles to add to the bibliography at the beginning, if that's OK with you:

Bullot, Érik. Sayat Nova de Serguei Paradjanov: La face et le profil. Crisnée, Belgium: Éditions Yellow Now, 2007.
Cook, David A. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Film as Religious Art.” Post Script 3, no. 3 (1984): 16–23.
Nebesio, Bohdan. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Storytelling in the Novel and the Film.” Literature/Film Quarterly 22, no. 1 (1994): 42–49.
Oeler, Karla. "A Collective Interior Monologue: Sergei Parajanov and Eisenstein's Joyce-Inspired Vision of Cinema." The Modern Language Review 101, no. 2 (April 2006): 472-487. (This is already listed above, but the full citation might be useful in case anyone wants to request it through Interlibrary Loan instead of purchasing the article.)
Oeler, Karla. "Nran guyne/The Colour of Pomegranates: Sergo Parajanov, USSR, 1969." In The Cinema of Russia and the Former Soviet Union, 139-148. (Series: 24 Frames.) London, England: Wallflower, 2006. [Book chapter]
Papazian, Elizabeth A. “Ethnography, Fairytale and ‘Perpetual Motion’ in Sergei Paradjanov’s Ashik- Kerib.” Literature/Film Quarterly 34, no. 4 (2006): 303–12.

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YnEoS
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#107 Post by YnEoS » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:04 pm

Just finished reading your book jsteffe, quite an enthralling and addicting read. I especially appreciate the amount of detail you dedicated to all his unrealized and incomplete projects, as well as the different versions and cuts made to The Color of Pomegranates. And since I haven't really read much about Soviet film practices, I found all the information you included on the films' production processes and how the different national cinemas operated within the soviet system to be quite helpful in understanding how his films were realized. Really excited to revisit all his films soon, and your books also gave me a nice list of Ukrainian poetic films to track down and watch.

One small point that I found a bit confusing, in the opening paragraph in the chapter on Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors you mention the project being offered to Ivan Chendei who accepted, then Ivan Kavaleridze who declined, and finally to Parajanov. Was Chendei approached simply to write the script, and then that script was passed on to Kavaleridze and then Parajanov for directing?

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#108 Post by HerrSchreck » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:41 am

Thanks Jim, I added those listings to the bibio.

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#109 Post by jsteffe » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:55 am

YnEoS wrote:Just finished reading your book jsteffe, quite an enthralling and addicting read. I especially appreciate the amount of detail you dedicated to all his unrealized and incomplete projects, as well as the different versions and cuts made to The Color of Pomegranates. And since I haven't really read much about Soviet film practices, I found all the information you included on the films' production processes and how the different national cinemas operated within the soviet system to be quite helpful in understanding how his films were realized. Really excited to revisit all his films soon, and your books also gave me a nice list of Ukrainian poetic films to track down and watch.

One small point that I found a bit confusing, in the opening paragraph in the chapter on Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors you mention the project being offered to Ivan Chendei who accepted, then Ivan Kavaleridze who declined, and finally to Parajanov. Was Chendei approached simply to write the script, and then that script was passed on to Kavaleridze and then Parajanov for directing?
Thanks, YnEoS--I glad to hear that you enjoyed it. You're correct, Ivan Chendei was only asked to write the screenplay. Kavaleridze was originally slated to direct, then Parajanov ended up getting the project.

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MichaelB
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#110 Post by MichaelB » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:11 am

I've now read the whole thing and can only add to the rapidly growing chorus of praise: I thought I knew Parajanov reasonably well, but I've clearly barely scratched the surface.

If you've seen even one of his films, don't hesitate - this is enthralling from first page to last.

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#111 Post by jsteffe » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:39 am

For people in the Atlanta area, I will be holding an author talk and book signing on November 18 at Emory University, with Professor Karla Oeler moderating. As part of the talk, I will be showing the Dovzhenko National Centre's 2011 restoration of Parajanov's 15-minute short Kyiv Frescoes (1965). More details here.

Now that I finally have had the opportunity to see the actual restoration, I think think it turned out really well. Especially considering that Kyiv Frescoes was edited from screen tests. (The film was cancelled before it actually went into production.) A lot of detail came through that I hadn't noticed previously, and it made me appreciate the film even more!

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L.A.
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#112 Post by L.A. » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:42 am

The World Cinema Fund will restore The Color of Pomegranates and will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2014.

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#113 Post by jsteffe » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:59 pm

For those of you who have access to Sight & Sound, there is a very thoughtful review of my book by Michael Brooke on page 106 of the current (December 2013) issue. Sorry, I don't have a way to link directly to it. But I think the review does a fine job of highlighting the book's most important features. (And it's Sight & Sound!)

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John Edmond
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#114 Post by John Edmond » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:33 pm

L.A. wrote:The World Cinema Fund will restore The Color of Pomegranates and will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2014.
Any idea on which version is to be restored?

Worth noting that the article also mentions that the WCF are soon going to restore Peleshyan's work.

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#115 Post by jsteffe » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:50 am

John Edmond wrote:
L.A. wrote:The World Cinema Fund will restore The Color of Pomegranates and will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2014.
Any idea on which version is to be restored?

Worth noting that the article also mentions that the WCF are soon going to restore Peleshyan's work.
I can't say for certain. My guess is that if they are working with the Armenian National Cinema Center, then they are probably doing some work with the Armenian release version, since I believe that the elements for that version are stored there. As far as I know, Gosfilmofond in Moscow has the negative for the Yutkevich version. So they may be doing both versions, or just the Armenian version. It seems less likely that they are restoring only the Yutkevich version. But that is purely speculation on my part.

The Artavazd Peleshyan announcement is excellent news, if correct. His films are brilliant and far too difficult to see.

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thirtyframesasecond
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#116 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:52 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:
EDIT: Books section updated-- Jim's is first on the list since this is an English language forum and his book is the newest and in English to boot.
Oh, is there a thread/list for books written by Criterion Forum members?

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#117 Post by jsteffe » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:52 pm

Here is very thoughtful (and enthusiastic) review of my book in the December 2013 issue of Sight & Sound by Michael Brooke.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#118 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:18 pm

thirtyframesasecond wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:
EDIT: Books section updated-- Jim's is first on the list since this is an English language forum and his book is the newest and in English to boot.
Oh, is there a thread/list for books written by Criterion Forum members?
Sorry, I never saw this post.

I don't know that there's enough going on there to substantiate a thread, but that's not my decision to make. I know that there's an Our Films/Scripts thread, and also a Forum Blog Roll thread for members. Either one is a good place to tout. I use em to pump my (now semi-annual and hideously overdue) commentaries.

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#119 Post by jsteffe » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:45 pm

thirtyframesasecond wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:
EDIT: Books section updated-- Jim's is first on the list since this is an English language forum and his book is the newest and in English to boot.
Oh, is there a thread/list for books written by Criterion Forum members?
I think he meant the the books section of this filmmaker thread, since it has a list of resources in the first entry.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#120 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:46 pm

Ah, I think you're right-- I read it wrong in my haste. I don't think he saw the books section of my first post... and thought it might have been exclusively for forum members only lol.

Everone's reading everything wrong!

Well, thirtyframes, that's a good illustration of why we'll leave the books section strictly for professionals like Jim who also happen to be members.

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thirtyframesasecond
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#121 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:35 pm

I meant just a general list (perhaps its own thread) of books written by Criterion users - for professional reasons really as much as curiosity. I'm a Media librarian at a university and I'm sure I can add these to our collection. I already purchased jstaffe's Parajanov.

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htshell
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#122 Post by htshell » Wed May 14, 2014 9:19 am

It seems there is somewhat of a controversy between Ukraine and Armenia, as The Color of Pomegranates has been submitted to Cannes under the banner of a Ukrainian film. The way this article reads, it seems like it was submitted by a Ukrainian film organization and was meant to be a political swipe at Armenia who has recently supported Russian actions in the region.

Link to the news story (in Russian). Can anyone parse the situation further?

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#123 Post by jsteffe » Wed May 14, 2014 1:48 pm

htshell wrote:It seems there is somewhat of a controversy between Ukraine and Armenia, as The Color of Pomegranates has been submitted to Cannes under the banner of a Ukrainian film. The way this article reads, it seems like it was submitted by a Ukrainian film organization and was meant to be a political swipe at Armenia who has recently supported Russian actions in the region.

Link to the news story (in Russian). Can anyone parse the situation further?
I wouldn't put much credence in that at all. The film is listed as coming from Armenia on the offical Cannes Festival website. Obviously the Film Foundation/World Cinema Project and the restoration lab L'Immagine Ritrovata worked closely with the Armenian archives on the restoration.

I suppose it's possible that someone working at Cannes accidentally listed "Ukraine" somewhere in the publicity because they remembered SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS as a Ukrainian film. In the past I encountered people from France and elsewhere who thought that Parajanov was a Ukrainian director. But I am very doubtful of any political intrigues.

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htshell
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#124 Post by htshell » Wed May 14, 2014 3:55 pm

Thanks for the reassurance, jsteffe. :)

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jsteffe
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Re: Sergei Parajanov

#125 Post by jsteffe » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:06 pm

Currently there is an exhibit of Sergei Parajanov's artworks in New York City. It runs through June 30 at the second floor gallery of Gilbert Albert, 43 West 57th Street (closed Sundays). It's an excellent selection of Parajanov's uniquely colorful and decorative collages, assemblages, dolls and hats, all from the Sergei Parajanov Museum in Yerevan. It's a must-see!

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