Sergei Parajanov's unmistakable films are rarely watched, often admired,
and usually regarded as some of the most important movies of the 20th century.
It was the Ukraine where Parajanov created the film that brought him the world fame - his Ukrainian masterpiece Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964).
The success and the importance of Sergei Paradjanov's revolutionary film was compared to Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 classic Battleship Potemkin. Parajanov shot the film in the Hutsul (Gutsul) dialect of the Ukrainian language (TINI ZABUTIKH PREDKIV) and won countless awards, including the Grand Prix of the Mar Del Plata Film Festival, as well as awards in Italy, Greece, Spain etc. (Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz, and numerous other books and sources, incorrectly state that Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors received the British Academy Award. According to the official statement obtained by Martiros Vartanov, the film hadn't won or been nominated).
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (the most important Ukrainian film since the silent movies of Dovzhenko) was full of religious and folkloric themes and didn't conform to the dominant "social realism" of the Soviet cinema. Sergei Paradjanov was blacklisted and his next film the Kiev Frescoes was stopped and banned in 1965.
In 1966 Parajanov arrived in Armenia and in 1967 completed the docu- mentary Hakop Hovnatanian (1967). That same year he met Mikhail Vartanov who began the shooting of the The Color of Armenian Land (1968) on the set of Sergei Paradjanov's absolute masterpiece, the jewel of Armenian and world cinema, the magnificent Sayat Nova. Due to the film's non-conformity to the Soviet ideology, Paradjanov was forced to change and rename it into the Color of Pomegranates and then, in 1969, Soviet director Sergei Yutkevich re-edited and made the censored Russian language version of the film (Tsvet Granata) - regardless it was banned and shelved for a very long time.
Sergei Parajanov's screenplays of "Intermezzo", "Ara the Beautiful", "Demon" and the "Miracle of Odense", which was co-written by Viktor Shklovsky, were all rejected.
On the 17th of December 1973, Sergei Parajanov was arrested in Kiev (Kyiv) and in 1974 was sentenced to 5 years in the Ukrainian prison… Paradjanov continued to create his art even there and it helped him survive. He made madly fascinating collages, drawings and wrote shocking and unbelievable letters full of wisdom.
The world's prominent artists, filmmakers and activists campaigned for his release from the camps. French poet Louis Aragon personally asked the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to release Sergei Paradjanov from the prison. On the 31st of December 1977 he became free and returned to his home town of Tbilisi, Georgia, however remained blacklisted but continued to create art out of everything in his way and all around him.
In 1982 Sergei Parajanov was arrested once again on the charges of bribery of an official and spent almost a year in a Georgian prison.
After 15 years of unemployment, in 1984, with the help of the local elite, Paradjanov was allowed to direct Legend of Suram Fortress, his Georgian masterpiece. The picture proved that Sergei Parajanov's talent and his unique way of expression were not affected by the long absence from the cinema. The worldwide screenings of the award-winning film were followed by the first exhibition of Paradjanov's art works that was held in Tbilisi in 1985.
In 1986, Parajanov made the documentary Arabesques on the Pirosmani Theme but his friend, of one the greatest masters of cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky, who considered Paradjanov a genius, died in Paris, France on the 28th of December.
In 1988, in the memory of Tarkovsky, Parajanov created Ashik Kerib, his Azerbaijani masterpiece based on the work of the Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, and won the European Film Academy's Felix Award.
In 1989, Parajanov began his favorite The Confession - a "film (that) can only be created by a director born in 1924 in Tiflis" - were the words of the first page of the screenplay.
Sergei Iosifovich Parajanov left us on the 20th of July 1990...
The Pantheon in Armenia's capital treasures the spirit and the statue of the great Maestro, along with Komitas, Aram Khachaturian and William Saroyan.
In 1991, Armenia built and opened the Parajanov Museum, which features the collection of the artworks and belongings from his legendary flat in Tbilisi that welcomed Marchello Mastroianni, John Updike, Vladimir Vysotsky, Andrei Tarkovsky and countless others.
In 1992 Russian Academy of Cinema Arts, awarded the country's highest film honor to the influential Parajanov: The Last Spring, which was started and banned in 1960s, and only completed in 1990s. It contains the footage of the first film about Sergei Paradjanov and his last unfinished film The Confession.
On the 9th of January, on the occasion of Sergei Parajanov's 77th birthday, Parajanov.com was created as a humble present to the creator of some of the all time greatest motion pictures...SERGEI PARADJANOV FILMS:
THE CONFESSION 1989-1990 Unfinished, autobiographical film, also known as "Ispoved" or "Khostovanutiun", original negative survives in PARAJANOV: THE LAST SPRING. ASHIK KERIB 1988 A fairy tale based on a theme by Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. ARABESQUES ON THE PIROSMANI THEME 1985/86 The world of Pirosmani and his paintings through the eyes of Maestro. LEGEND OF SURAM FORTRESS 1984 Based on a beautiful Georgian legend. CHILDREN TO KOMITAS 1968 Parajanov made this documentary for UNICEF but it has been apparentely lost. SAYAT NOVA or THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES 1968 Parajanov's masterpiece about Armenian poet Sayat Nova. HAKOP HOVNATANIAN 1967 Documentary about Armenian painter. KIEV FRESCOES 1966 Unfinished, banned film, features an appearance by Suren Parajanov SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS 1964 Ukrainian Romeo and Juliet love story, based on a book by Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi. FLOWER ON THE STONE 1962 A story of a little town and a sudden war between religion and politics. UKRAINIAN RHAPSODY 1961 A simple girl becomes a famous singer. GOLDEN HANDS 1960 About Ukrainian folk art. NATALIA UZHVY 1959 A documentary about Natalia Uzhviy. THE FIRST LAD 1958 A comedy about love and passion in a village. Aka "The Top Guy". DUMKA 1958 Live music concert. ANDRIESH 1954 A fairy tale, directed by Parajanov and Yakov Bazelyan. MOLDAVIAN TALE Parajanov's student film, aka "Moldavskaya Skazka", was lost.SCRIPTS and PROJECTS :
"The Confession" "Ara the Beautiful" "David of Sasun" "The Martyrdom of Shushanik" "The Treasures at Mount Ararat" "Intermezzo" "Demon" "Miracle of Odense" "Golden Edge"
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