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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:14 pm 
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Here is a link to my blog entry about the exhibit, which includes the full text of the brief introductory essay that I wrote for the catalog.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:00 am 
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The Film Foundation/World Cinema Project's new digital restoration of THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES is coming to the London Film Festival this week.

I write in more detail about the restoration here.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:27 pm 
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Keep on truckin, James!


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:09 am 
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I recently ordered a book called The Parajanov Kaleidoscope from an Armenian store in California. It's amazing - a wonderful collection of Parajanov's drawings, collages and assemblages, filled with beautiful full-color reproductions, published by the Parajanov Museum in Yerevan. It's available for $75 (plus postage) from the store in the link, or for $998(!) from amazon. Mine arrived in about a week, very carefully and securely packed.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:20 pm 
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I second vertovfan's comment - Parajanov Kaleidoscope really is a wonderful album.

As a reminder about my own book on Parajanov, the University of Wisconsin Press is still offering a 30% discount for direct orders using this discount flyer.

Also - for folks in the Bay area, as part of their major retrospective on Georgian cinema, STARTING THIS SUNDAY (March 1), The Pacific Film Archive will be showing all of Parajanov's major films, including the 4k restoration of The Color of Pomegranates,

The Color of Pomegranates, The Legend of the Surami Fortress and Ashik-Kerib will be introduced by Harsha Ram, a professor at Berkeley who is currently writing a book on the Russian-Georgian cultural encounter. He translated a couple essays for the special issue of The Armenian Review on Parajanov that I edited several years ago, and I'm sure that he will have some fascinating insights to offer. It will be worth the effort to attend, even if you have seen the films before!


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:04 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:39 pm
Nicolas Jaar released a version of The Color of Pomegranates with an all-new soundtrack. (Vimeo says HD). I'm curious as to what you all think!
Any word on the restoration's distribution? Anyways, thanks for your updates and dedication, James!


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:56 pm 
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Has anybody else been able to get the Parajanov Kaleidoscope from the bookstore linked above? I ordered it soon after it was mentioned here and received an order confirmation but never got a shipping confirmation, and they have yet to respond to my email last week inquiring about it. I'm wondering if they ran out of stock, though if they did I wish they'd notify and/or refund my money.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:47 pm 
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durkheim wrote:
Nicolas Jaar released a version of The Color of Pomegranates with an all-new soundtrack. (Vimeo says HD). I'm curious as to what you all think!
Any word on the restoration's distribution? Anyways, thanks for your updates and dedication, James!


There isn't anything to report regarding video distribution for the restoration, as far as I know. I'm sure it will happen at some point, it's just a question of when and who.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:45 am 
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I didn't receive a shipping notice for the Kaleidoscope book either. I don't remember exactly how long it took to arrive - hope yours arrives soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:23 pm 
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Three weeks later I'm still waiting on it. Seeing as the store is less than two hours away from me, I'm pretty sure they ran out of stock.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:15 pm 
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If you live in the L.A. area, the restoration of THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES is screening at the Cinefamily today (Friday, 3/20) and tomorrow (Saturday, 3/21). See their website for more details.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:02 pm 
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If you live in the L.A. area, the Hammer Museum at UCLA will be screening the restored version of The Color of Pomegranates on December 15 at the Billy Wilder Theater. I will be there for a Q&A together with the filmmaker Carla Garapedian. More details here.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:43 pm 

Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 7:08 am
The current exhibition "Sarkis-Parajanov" in Brussels offers some nices props, paintings, collage and dolls from various period of Parajanov activities. All the items exhibitted there are visually breathtaking (in the some glorious way Sayat Nova was). I was also able to see there the movie "Arabeskebi Pirosmanis temaze", a very interresting take on the relationship between cinema and painting. If you ever come by Brussels before february, you should definitly try to visit it.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Tawfik wrote:
The current exhibition "Sarkis-Parajanov" in Brussels offers some nices props, paintings, collage and dolls from various period of Parajanov activities. All the items exhibitted there are visually breathtaking (in the some glorious way Sayat Nova was). I was also able to see there the movie "Arabeskebi Pirosmanis temaze", a very interresting take on the relationship between cinema and painting. If you ever come by Brussels before february, you should definitly try to visit it.

Here is a link to the exhibition website. I have the catalog, entitled Sarkis With Parajanov, and it's very high quality. It also has an English translation of Parajanov's scenario for "Ara the Beautiful." You can order it online by emailing the contact on that website. I love the idea of bringing those two artists in dialogue.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:51 am 
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I really love Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors so much. There is a freshness and vitality in this film, seldom seen or matched in cinema from any age. I love the energy and the daring Parajanov employed, presaging much of Malick's current style 50 years ago, with the frenetic hand-held cameras and in-your-face wide-angle lenses. I can see also why Tarkovsky was amorous of Parajanov's spirit and style.

One almost gets the sense that this film was directed by someone from whom heavy chains had just been cut away after many years. There is also a fresh-minded, childlike enthusiasm in the filmmaking. Edward Guthman from the San Francisco Chronicle put it this way: "'Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors' is one of those rare films that look totally fresh and uncorrupted -- as if the director hadn't pilfered a thing from other film makers but had simply discovered the camera, and how best to use it, by himself."

I have seen people complain about the hammy acting in the film, but for me, this misses the point. This film is about a time and a place and how humans fit into that time and place. It's not really about any one person. The characters are just avatars for our journey through this land.

The film is also epic in unintended ways. I really got a kick out of some of the ridiculous lighting and production values, but it's all good fun and adds to the enjoyment of the whole film. In the sudden "rain" scene in the woods, for example, you can almost see Parajanov himself up on ladder with a garden hose spraying down his actors... hahaha! :D (pic below)

Image

The colors and costumes and camera work are to die for, but it's the mixture of those elements with trippy, authentic-sounding folk songs that really makes this film soar.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:06 pm 
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I'd also attribute a good deal of the film's success to its cinematographer, Yuri Ilyenko, whose work as director is very much worth seeking out (especially his first three films).


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:54 pm
swo17 wrote:
I'd also attribute a good deal of the film's success to its cinematographer, Yuri Ilyenko, whose work as director is very much worth seeking out (especially his first three films).


I'll 2nd this. Much thanks to J. Steffe's book, which pointed me in the direction of Ilyenko's work. A Spring for the Thirsty is well worth a watch (can find it on yt).


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:29 pm 
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I keep thinking about this film, and how daring and innovative the filmmaking was. It's liberating, and inspiring.

Image

-Sing Ivanko, as you can. I shall sing for you so that you won't understand.
-Tell me, tell me, girl, where have I lost my mind? Or maybe you've hidden it in a birch-tree or in a poplar?
-When we fell in love even dry oaks began to blossom. And when we parted, the lilacs withered.
-Oh, my sweet Marichka, my talkative bird. If only we had been destined to love each other for one summer.
-Remember me Ivanko, at least twice a day. I remember you seven times an hour. And the apple tree's shed its flowers. We had fallen in love as early as children.
- Oh I went to the meadow and saw a bird there. What are you doing now, my dark-haired Marichka? Oh Marichka, I can't forget you! Oh, we'll never be together!


Last edited by Trees on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:04 am 
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Tawfik wrote:
The current exhibition "Sarkis-Parajanov" in Brussels offers some nices props, paintings, collage and dolls from various period of Parajanov activities. All the items exhibitted there are visually breathtaking (in the some glorious way Sayat Nova was). I was also able to see there the movie "Arabeskebi Pirosmanis temaze", a very interresting take on the relationship between cinema and painting. If you ever come by Brussels before february, you should definitly try to visit it.

Thanks for mentioning this. I live quite nearby but had no idea this was going on. Went for a visit yesterday and greatly enjoyed it. Wonderful villa as well....


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:34 am 
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jsteffe wrote:
The Film Foundation/World Cinema Project's new digital restoration of THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES is coming to the London Film Festival this week.

I write in more detail about the restoration here.


Is this restoration or any other versions of the film coming to Blu-ray at some point? I really want to watch this film, but am wondering what version I should watch?


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:39 am 
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Trees wrote:
Is this restoration or any other versions of the film coming to Blu-ray at some point? I really want to watch this film, but am wondering what version I should watch?


Nothing announced at this point, but a release is bound to happen eventually. For now, the best-looking edition is the UK DVD from Second Sight. It's the slightly recut Yutkevich version, but don't let that deter you. It also has a feature length documentary about the film (they interview me, among other people) and audio commentary by Levon Abrahamian, an anthropologist who was friends with Parajanov.

Kino is still selling the Armenian release version as far as I'm aware, but the transfer is very old and it's from a faded print.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Maybe I would be better to try to catch a screening of one of the newer restorations? Are these projected digitally?


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Haven't seen this anywhere else on the forum yet but I was browsing Amazon and apparently there is a "full-length companion" book for Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors due to be released on Oct 15 of this year. Amazon link: Sergei Paradjanov: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:41 pm 
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Quote:
This book is the first full-length companion to the film. In addition to a synopsis of the plot and a close analysis of the many levels of symbolism in the film, it offers a history of the film’s legendarily troubled production process (which included Paradjanov challenging a cinematographer to a duel).


Ordered. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:53 pm 
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theflirtydozen wrote:
Haven't seen this anywhere else on the forum yet but I was browsing Amazon and apparently there is a "full-length companion" book for Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors due to be released on Oct 15 of this year. Amazon link: Sergei Paradjanov: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

I'm glad to see this book has been officially announced. Joshua First is an excellent scholar, and he has done meticulous archival research on the Ukrainian period of Parajanov's career and on Ukrainian cinema in general. Based on what I know of the series, a significant portion of the book should be devoted to a close reading of the film, and he should have plenty to say there as well. I just pre-ordered my copy too!


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