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 Post subject: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:01 pm 
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Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990)

"I believe you have to be born a director. It's like a child's adventure:
you take the initiative among other children and become a director creating a mystery.
You mould things into shape and create. You torment
people with your "artistismus" - scaring mother and grandmother in the
middle of the night. You dress yourself up like Charlie's Aunt, or as (Hans
Christian) Andersen's heroes. Using feathers from a trunk, you transform
yourself into a rooster or a firebird. This has always preoccupied me, and
that is what directing is.

A director can't be trained, not even in a film school like VGIK (Soviet All-
Union State School for Film Art and Cinematography). You can't learn it.
You have to be born with it. You have to possess it in your mother's
womb. Your mother must be an actress, so you can inherit it. Both my
mother and father were artistically gifted."


Filmography

The Confession (1990)

Ashug-Karibi (1988)
... aka Ashik Kerib (Soviet Union: Russian title) Available in Kino Films of Sergei Parajanov Box or Individually R1/Kino

Arabeskebi Pirosmanis temaze (1985)
... aka Arabeski na temu Pirosmani (Soviet Union: Russian title)
... aka Arabesques on the Pirosmani Theme (International: English title)

Ambavi Suramis tsikhitsa (1984)
... aka Legenda Suramis tsikheze
... aka Legenda Suramskoy kreposti (Soviet Union: Russian title)
... aka The Legend of the Suram Fortress Available in Kino Parajanov Box or individually R1/Kino

Return to Life (1980)

Sayat Nova (1968)
... aka Цвет граната (Soviet Union: Russian title)
... aka Brotseulis kvaviloba (Soviet Union: Georgian title)
... aka Color of Pomegranates (USA)
... aka Nran guyne (Soviet Union: Armenian title)
... aka Red Pomegranate (USA)
... aka Tsvet granata (Soviet Union: Russian title: censored version)Available in Kino Parajanov Box or individually in R1 Kino

Hakob Hovnatanyan (1967)
... aka Akop Ovnatanyan (Soviet Union: Russian title) Available in Kino Parajanov Box or individually in R1 Kino


Tini zabutykh predkiv (1964)
... aka Тени забытых предков (Soviet Union: Russian title)
... aka Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (USA)
... aka Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors
... aka Teni zabytykh predkov (Soviet Union: Russian title)
... aka Wild Horses of Fire

Tsvetok na kamne (1962)
... aka A Little Flower on a Stone
... aka Flower on the Stone

Ukrainskaya rapsodiya (1961)
... aka Ukrainian Rhapsody

Pervyy paren (1959)
... aka The First Lad (International: English title: informal literal title)

Dumka (1957)

Natalya Ushviy (1957)

Zolotye ruki (1957)
... aka Golden Hands

Andriesh (1954)

Moldovskaya skazka (1951)
... aka A Moldavian Tale (International: English title: literal title)
... aka Moldavian Fairy Tale (USA)


Web Resources

parajanov.com

Parajanov imdb page

Sergei Parajanov museum in Armenia

Parajanov museum in Yerevan

Ron Holloway Interview w Parajanov


In Print

By PARAJANOV: articles—"Perpetual Motion," and "Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors," in Film Comment (New York), Fall 1968.

Interview with H. Anassian, in Le Monde (Paris), 27 January 1980.

Interview with M. Vartanov, in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), March 1986.

Interview with C. Tesson, in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), July/August 1988.

Interview with B. Steinborn, in Filmfaust, vol. 15, July-October 1990.

Interview with Ronald Holloway, in Filmrutan (Sundsvall, Sweden), vol. 39, no.1, 1996.



About Parajanove: articles—Marshall, Herbert, "The Case of Sergo Paradjanov," in Sight and Sound (London), Winter 1974/75.

Liehm, Antonin, "A Certain Cowardice," in Film Comment (New York), July/August 1975.

"Film Names Bid Soviets Be Kind to Paradzhanov," in Variety (New York), 17 November 1976.

Fargier, J.P., "Libérons Paradjanian," in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), August/September 1977.

Grenier, Richard, "A Soviet Filmmaker's Plight," in the New York Times, 16 July 1981.

Barsky, V., "Uber Sergj Paradschanow und seine Filme," in Filmfaust (Frankfurt), October/November 1985.

Stanbrook, Alan, "The Return of Paradjanov," in Sight and Sound (London), Autumn 1986.

"Ukrainian Rhapsody—Sergei Paradjanov," in Monthly Film Bulletin (London), November 1986.

Williamson, A., "Prisoner: The Essential Paradjanov," in Film Comment (New York), May/June 1989.

Rayns, Tony, "Ashik kerib," in Monthly Film Bulletin (London), September 1989.

Alekseychuk, Leonid, "A Warrior in the Field," in Sight and Sound (London), Winter 1990/91.

Obituary, in Cinéma (Paris), September 1990.

Obituary, in EPD Film (Frankfurt/Main), vol. 7, September 1990.

Olofsson, A., "Bara en forbanned filmmakare," in Chaplin (Stockholm), vol. 32, 1990.

Kopanevora, G., "Dilo a osud Sergeje Paradžanova," in Film Dope (Nottingham), December 1990.

Alekseychuk, L., "A Warrior in the Field," in Sight and Sound (London), vol. 55, Winter 1990–1991.

Picchi, M., "L'arte globale nelle forme espressive di Paradznov," in Cinema Nuovo (Rome), vol. 42, July-October 1993.

Kuncev, G., and others, in Iskusstvo Kino (Moscow), no 8, August 1995.

Books on Parajanov

James Steffen: The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov (Wisconson Film Studies Trade Paper). Available for order now!

Parajanov Special Issue, The Armenian Review, Volume 47 & 48 Number 3-4/1-2 (Spring/Summer 2001/2002). (It's a single issue.)

Description: http://www.armenianreview.org/Fortyeightvolume.htm
Ordering: http://www.armenianreview.org/ordering.htm (Must be ordered directly from The Armenian Review)

Seven Visions by Parajanov, Bennett

Parajanov Himself by Garo Keheyan

A collective interior monologue: Sergei Parajanov and Eisenstein's Joyce-inspired vision of cinema.(Critical essay): A digital article in HTML from: The Modern Language Review

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.

*some in-print listings thanks to filmreference.com


Last edited by HerrSchreck on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:39 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:38 am 
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I mentioned on another thread that I would say something about the outtakes for The Color of Pomegranates, so here is a sampling...

On October 14, 2006, the "complete rushes" for The Color of Pomegranates/Sayat-Nova were broadcast on the RAI 3 program Fuori Orario. They consisted of over four hours of footage, without any sountrack. (As was common practice in the Soviet Union, the film was entirely post-synchronized.)

What I finally obtained from a friend in Europe is a little over four hours long, so it appears there may be some footage missing. The various shots from the film were presented in largely random order, so it has taken me quite a bit of time to sort through them all and organize them more or less in script order. But even the script is not a wholly reliable guide, since Paradjanov improvised a great deal during production and some of the shots operate on a purely metaphorical level, so they're difficult to place in the film without being able to ask Paradjanov himself.

The rushes themselves are extremely variable in condition, but the negatives for the outtakes do apparently survive--I'm unsure about their condition--and there are also very beautiful color production stills that, if anything, look as good or better than the film itself.

The first thing I observed is that the Fuori Orario footage contains screen tests mixed together with actual footage from the production. Note that they're shot on a bare sounstage. As with the screen tests Paradjanov shot for Kiev Frescoes, the cancelled project he was working on in Ukraine before coming to Armenia to make this film, the Sayat-Nova screen tests are not just for trying out actors, costumes, etc., but are intended to convey his ideas about the future film's style.

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One important aspect of the film that ended up on the cutting room floor was a more fully developed depiction of King Erekle (Irakli) II, who was the king of Georgia when Sayat-Nova was an adult. Georgia was in the Persian Empire's sphere of influence, and during Erekle II's reign he strengthened ties with Russia. In the script, there was an elaborate sequence entitled "Erekles Abano" (Irakli's Bath), in which we get a sense of the King's sorrow at seeing his country under Muslim control.

Here he holds up a pomegranate, holds it under his nose, and sighs with melancholy:

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There's also an amusing shot with men playing a game tossing pomegranates to each other and rolling them across the floor.

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In the finished film, Sayat-Nova as a child still watches King Erkle bathe, but he's not explicitly identified as the king. I think this portion of the film was a casualty of Paradjanov's conflict with the Armenian Communist Party leaders, who complained that the film didn't live up to its expected task of introducing Sayat-Nova as a historical figure to viewers. As a result, they ordered that all references to Sayat-Nova in the title of the film and chapter headings be removed, as well as quotations of his poetry in the title cards. You can see how this happened in the Armenian release version (so-called "director's cut") of the film.

In the same episode of the script, Paradjanov has the budding poet watching Princess Anna bathe. He actually filmed the shot, but it was likely cut because of its nudity, which goes even beyond what you see in the finished film:

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Paradjanov filmed additional footage of women bathing including this shot:

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Here is another example of nudity (and homoerotic content) that didn't make it into the finished film. According to someone who participated in the production, the shot was related to Sayat-Nova's induction into the monastery:

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But for me the most striking of all the deleted footage is a dream sequence that Paradjanov jokingly called "Sayat-Nova's Night Pollution" (i.e., noctural emission). If you've read the English translation of the script, you'll recall that the mysterious llama turns out to represent a substitute love object. In this sequence the symbol returns. Sayat-Nova apparently sleepwalks into the church's sactuary, where he encounters what I call "angels of temptation," with stag horns on their backs instead of wings, and lighted candles on the horns. One of the angels hands Sayat-Nova a chalice.

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Sayat-Nova then leads a llama into a hallway, milks it and fills up the chalice, then hurls the milk at a fantasy apparition of the Princess Anna, who is standing in a doorway. It turns out that there was glass behind her, and the milk splashes against the glass. Sayat-Nova smears it around.

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Needless to say, this inspired piece of perverse sexual symbolism ended up on the cutting room floor.

This is by no means everything, but it gives you a taste of what Paradjanov shot. It would be wonderful to see some of these outtakes as DVD extras someday!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:51 am 
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Fascinating stuff! More compelling information which points me even more firmly in the direction of belief that states there is not now, nor has there ever been-- nor will there ever be-- a version of the film available (on home video or otherwise) which represents even a moderately close approximation of Parajanov's original intention for the final, finished film. Despite the fact that some versions are closer than others.

A heads up to you Steffen, and everyone and anyone else-- feel free to PM me links for web resources, the multiple PAL editions of Parajanov's films (not to mention NSTC editions I may have missed), books, good articles on or offline, etc., and I will update the original post, which is still of course unfinished. I haven't had much time to devote.

You can check other filmmakers' pages to see the format. If you need help writing the coding to embed links, etc, let me know.

It's not for lack of love for Parajanov, but time has been tight lately... but I do of course check in.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:37 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Fascinating stuff! More compelling information which points me even more firmly in the direction of belief that states there is not now, nor has there ever been-- nor will there ever be-- a version of the film available (on home video or otherwise) which represents even a moderately close approximation of Parajanov's original intention for the final, finished film. Despite the fact that some versions are closer than others.

I think you're right. The Armenian release version is no "director's cut," but the product of much compromise and negotiation. (Then again, no director got final cut in the Soviet production system, and how many really do in Hollywood?) Paradjanov signed off on the finished film, but obviously he had to make a number of changes along the way just so the film could see the light of day.

At the same time, I'd be skeptical of any claims to restore the film to Paradjanov's "original intentions," as if they could be determined with any clarity. One complicating factor is the soundtrack. Paradjanov and the composer Tigran Mansurian constructed the soundtrack entirely in the studio--it's essentially an audio collage, and it's a distinct creative work in its own right. I don't see someone could ignore all the refinements that were introduced in that process in order to "restore" the film to an earlier version.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:04 pm 

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Since he has studied the different versions of Sayat Nova and the rushes in detail, I wonder if it's not too much trouble, if Jsteffe could post a contents list of the rushes (00:00 - 00:15 screen test King Erekle I; 00:15 - 00:45 women bathing; ...or something like this). I think the most widespread version would be the 3 CD version (739 - 746 - 106 MB; 241 min.) thanks


Last edited by serdar002 on Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:04 pm 
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serdar002 wrote:
Since he has studies the different versions of Sayat Nova and the rushes in detail, I wonder if it's not too much trouble, if Jsteffe could post a contents list of the rushes (00:00 - 00:15 screen test King Erekle I; 00:15 - 00:45 women bathing; ...or something like this). I think the most widespread version would be the 3 CD version (739 - 746 - 106 MB; 241 min.) thanks

I was working off of DVDs, but you're right, there's a 3 CD version of the rushes as AVI files floating around out there.

As much as I would like to index them, it's not feasible. The rushes were broadcast completely out of order, and even different takes of the same shot are sometimes separated from each other. I'm pretty sure there's even duplicate footage in a couple instances. I had to reorganize the footage completely just to take an inventory of what was actually there.

Actually, if you read Paradjanov's original script for the film, it's not too difficult to identify where the individual bits of footage fit, except for a few instances where he created new scenes altogether. It's available in translation in the volume Seven Visions. The translation has problems since it was made from French and not the original Russian, but it's workable. If you read Russian, you can get the original script in the volume entitled Dremliushchii dvorets. The published literary script and the shooting script are essentially identical--Paradjanov literally pasted a typescript of the literary script onto cardboard and numbered the shots to create the shooting script. Needless to say, some people at the Armenfilm studio were not happy about that, but the studio head was really eager to push the project through so he let it slide.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:04 pm 

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I'll dig my way through the 3 CD version first and then I'll do some more research. Thanks a lot for the info jsteffe.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:55 pm 
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I figured I might post this question here even though I don't want this to turn into a discussion of Tarkovsky.

I haven't seen Sayat Nova and was reading the synopsis and couldn't help thinking of Tarkovsky's Mirror (Mind you, this was from a description). Meaning, not much of a narrative. Just showing scenes of a 'life' without much context. Dreamlike. Intense emotion derived from visuals.

Am I totally off-base? Does this have far more structure? I think I am becoming very interested in this film and director.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:04 pm 
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It is like absolutely nothing else ever made before or since. The Mirror is indeed a fractured narrative following a dream logic.

Color of Pomegranites is impossible to classify. Structurally and narratively it's one of the most extreme movies ever made.. it's also one of the most beautiful, and definitely one of the saddest (to me anyway). The grief in this film cuts like a knife.

If you are even remotely interested in the rarified hieghts that cinema-- and a filmmaker with an unbelievably free sense of conception-- can attain, this film is obligatory.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Thanks HS!

the New York Public Library has about 10 2001 KINO copies. One is heading my way. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:36 pm 
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HerrSchreck is right about underlying sadness in THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES. There is the historical tragedy of the Caucasus under the thumb of the Persian empire--Sayat-Nova is supposed to have died during an invasion by the forces of Agha Muhammad Khan.

But there is also the sadness of Sayat-Nova's poetry, which has partly to do with the poetic conventions he was employing. As an ashugh, he was influenced strongly by classical Persian poetry. One of his poems, "The World is a Window" (Askhares me panjara e) is sung in its entirety, and it expresses his world view very well.

At the same time, I find that the film's sadness tempered by its astounding sensuality, and Paradjanov's unique, playful subversiveness. HerrSchreck is right that it's "like absolutely nothing else ever made or since."

I'm eager to hear what you think about the film after you've had the opportunity to see it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:56 pm 
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Though most of the discussion so far is on Sayat Nova, I had the chance to see Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors at the BFI Southbank, London, tonight.

The most striking differences between SOOFA and Sayat Nova is the more straight-forward narrative; a Romeo and Juliet style love story, complete with tragedy, in the Hutsul community in the Carpathian mountains, and the aestheic/technical differences - much more athletic and fluid camerawork compared to Sayat Nova's use of long takes and lack of camera movement. There's a great scene at the start when a tree falls on a man and the camera follows the tree's pov if you like. Much like in Sayat Nova too, there's meticulous recreation of the traditions and customs of minority cultures, which almost has a documentary feel to it. It's rare to get the chance to see this film so I would recommend it if you do.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:36 pm 
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Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1988 article on Paradjanov.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:14 pm 
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For those who are interested, my article on the unfinished film Kyiv (Kiev) Frescoes has been published as part of a special issue on Ukrainian cinema for the online journal KinoKultura. This should give you a taste of what's going into my forthcoming book on Paradjanov:

http://www.kinokultura.com/specials/9/steffen.shtml

Please by all means look at the other articles in the special issue as well--there's some great stuff in it. Here's the index page:

http://www.kinokultura.com/specials/9/ukrainian.shtml


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:25 pm
Hello there, I'm new to this board: I only discovered Paradjanov's work a few days ago on youtube! I was captivated, and I want to ask about the current dvd situation.

SAYAT NOVA
I found a new 'Premium Edition' edition of this on amazon.jp :
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B002MH1ANA/ref=s9_simi_gw_p74_t1?pf_rd_m=AN1VRQENFRJN5&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=114JF1G7EMSYA86JRNXS&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463376736&pf_rd_i=489986

Does anybody know whether they've introduced English subtitles?

SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS
I was planning to order the RUSCICO dvd - is this the best transfer in the PAL region (i live in the UK). Or is the French edition superior?

LEGEND OF SURAM FORTRESS
I've read that the RUSCICO dvd used to have a Russian voiceover. But has the current edition restored the original Georgian soundtrack?
http://www.ruscico.com/dvd.php?lang=en&dvd=61&PHPSESSID=e3a4552c040586903519356c3678ecf0

ASHIK KERIB
Is the RUSCICO dvd exactly the same as the UK artificial eye dvd?

Thanks in advance for any help! I'm very excited that there is going to be a Paradjanov retrospective in London next month: the chance to see his films on the big screen must be quite rare!


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:02 pm 
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mert1149, it's great that you'll be in London to see the retrospective. See anything of his that you can on 35mm, including his early films. But definitely don't miss SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS and THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES on 35mm.

Here are my recommendations for Paradjanov's films on DVD:

SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS: Get the RUSCICO edition rather than the French edition. It's a better transfer. The US version distributed by Kino is also taken from the Ruscico transfer, though it's been converted to NTSC. I think the subtitle timings and possibly the translations may have been improved in places for the Kino. Perhaps someone else can confirm this.

THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES:
Beware of the new Premium Edition from Japan, it appears to be based on the Ruscico edition of that film, which is the version re-edited by Sergei Yutkevich. Supposedly this version was cut from the original negative and theoretically should look better. But the unsubtitled Ruscico disc that I saw was atrocious beyond belief--not only was the transfer heavily manipulated, but the print was missing footage which resulted in the audio being radically out of sync for much of the film. Unless someone can produce solid evidence that those problems were corrected, I would avoid any version with materials supplied by Ruscico.

The old Japanese edition of THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES from Columbia--the one without any special features--lacks English subtitles but it has the best color and detail of any transfer on the market. However, the print is still slightly magenta in places. If you find that you really like the film, perhaps this edition is worth tracking down.

Instead, I recommend either the French version or the Kino (U.S.) version of the Armenian release version, the so-called "director's cut." Paradjanov was still forced to make changes in this version to get the film released, but in some ways it's closer to what he intended than the re-edited Yutkevich version. The French version has a newer transfer and more fully translated subtitles, but I really object to the *heavy* contrast boosting and edge enhancement--I find it almost unwatchable for that reason. The Kino version is less manipulated, but it has faded color, soft detail (it's a very old transfer) and obtrusive yellow subtitles. Both have their downsides, but I'd guess that most people here prefer the French version.

THE LEGEND OF SURAM FORTRESS:
You'd have to ask Ruscico directly whether they corrected that problem in subsequent pressings. What I can say is that the Kino (U.S.) release, which is from Ruscico materials, has reintroduced the Georgian soundtrack. However, because the Georgian soundtrack materials were partially destroyed in a studio fire, about 3 - 4 minutes off missing soundtrack are filled in with the Russian voice-over version.

ASHIK KERIB:
I would assume that the RUSCICO DVD is exactly the same as the Artificial Eye DVD, but either way they should be just fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:35 am 

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Thanks jsteffe, that's very helpful.

That's interesting speculation about the new Japanese disc (what makes you think it's a Ruscico transfer?) because I noticed on amazon.jp the old disc had loads of five star ratings, whilst the new edition fared much worse. This, I suppose, indicates that the new edition is indeed in some sense inferior. Sayat Nova is the film that's enchanting me - I've watched it three times in two days! - so I would like to track down the old Japanese disc. Do you have any suggestions as to where to look? And I would consider risking the new edition from amazon, but it seems impossibly expensive - I suppose Japanese living costs are very high!

Good luck with your book!


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Page updated with asome info from J(im)Steffe(n). Jim, let us know when your book is out so we can feature it on this page.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:53 pm 
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With the exception of 'The Color of Pomegranates' the Kino set has to be a no-brainer. If you are not satisfied, buy the French DVD but that's pretty much you can do for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:56 am 
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mert1149 wrote:
That's interesting speculation about the new Japanese disc (what makes you think it's a Ruscico transfer?) because I noticed on amazon.jp the old disc had loads of five star ratings, whilst the new edition fared much worse. This, I suppose, indicates that the new edition is indeed in some sense inferior. Sayat Nova is the film that's enchanting me - I've watched it three times in two days! - so I would like to track down the old Japanese disc. Do you have any suggestions as to where to look? And I would consider risking the new edition from amazon, but it seems impossibly expensive - I suppose Japanese living costs are very high!

It's been several weeks since I looked at it so my memory my be faulty, but I determined that it was from the Russian Cinema council when I did a Google translation of the page. Either it said Russian Cinema Council outright, or I figured it out because the special features were identical to what the Russian cinema council is circulating separately, such as the Levon Grigoryan documentaries about Paradjanov.

I had purchased the old Japanese disc a while back on YesAsia.com, but I can't seem to find it anymore. I suggest keeping an eye out for it on the Amazon Marketplace or on Ebay. To be honest, even though it's the Yutkevich re-edit I prefer watching it these days simply because of the superior color and detail, to say nothing of a better quality soundtrack.

My understanding is that there are some complex rights issues holding back the kind of cooperative effort needed for a proper remaster and/or restoration, though I can't give more detail than that.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:00 am
Location: Atlanta, GA
HerrSchreck wrote:
Page updated with asome info from J(im)Steffe(n). Jim, let us know when your book is out so we can feature it on this page.

Thanks! You can be sure I will let everyone know.

Book writing and publishing is a slow and difficult process. The analysis of The Color of Pomegranates/Sayat-Nova was especially hard, but I have that behind me finally. Among other things, it entailed identifying the various Armenian and Georgian churches where the film was shot, and the miniature paintings used during the childhood section.

Incidentally, I have a couple bits of info that you might find useful. IMDb lists the film's title as "Sayat-Nova" (the poet's name is actually hyphenated in the original Armenian), which was initially the case. However, while the finished film was being reviewed by the authorities they complained that the film was not enough "about" Sayat-Nova as a historical figure, so they ordered the film's title changed and required that all references to the poet's name be removed from the intertitles. That's why it was released in Armenia under as "Nran guyne" ("The Color of Pomegranates"), the actual title on the Armenian release version print, the so-called director's cut. So while Paradjanov wanted to call the film Sayat-Nova, it was never released under that title in the Soviet Union.

For the book I'm spelling his last name "Paradjanov," simply because that's the most common spelling and it will make the book easier to find. "Parajanov" is closer to how it's spelled in Armenian and Georgian, since both languages have a hard "j" sound. Sometimes you see his name also spelled "Paradzhanov," which is a transcription from the Russian spelling.

Wikipedia incorrectly lists his original Armenian family name as "Parajanyan," though to be fair even Paradjanov himself believed that it was his Armenian name. His father (or grandfather?) had the family name Russified to "Parajanov," as was common practice for non-Russian peoples in the Russian empire. As far as I can tell Paradjanov was born with the Russified version of his name. However, the family's ancestral name in Armenian was in fact "Parajanyants"--in the Parajanov Museum in Yerevan there is a surviving birth certificate of one of his aunts that proves this. "Parajanyants" is also a historically attested Armenian family name.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:26 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:33 am
Does anyone know of an English-language source, online or printed, for critical or historical or anecdotal discussion of The First Lad and Ukrainian Rhapsody?


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:00 am
Location: Atlanta, GA
pashalifi wrote:
Does anyone know of an English-language source, online or printed, for critical or historical or anecdotal discussion of The First Lad and Ukrainian Rhapsody?


If you read French, there's a little in the Patrick Cazals book. I also have a chapter on the Ukrainian films in my dissertation, which you might try requesting from your local library. I'm not aware of anything else in English. The dissertation is available for purchase from Proquest/UMI, but I think that service is overpriced. I recommend just waiting until the book comes out.


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 Post subject: Re: Sergei Parajanov
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:16 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:09 am
I've loved Parajanov since my first encounter with his movies in the '80s, and the current season in London and Bristol is a godsend, which has only heightened my interest. I've come across this thread which is incredibly helpful.

I wondered if anyone knows if the Mikhail Vartanov documentary 'Parajanov: Last Spring' was ever released on video or DVD - I can find no trace of it if it was.

Anyone know of a source of the Sayat Nova rushes? (if this doesn't breach posting guidelines in my first post).

Thanks for all the useful information here.


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