There Was A Parajanov
There Was A Parajanov
Author: Garry Kuntsev
The unique memoires of the sound director of 3 most famous films of genius Sergey Parajanov – «Legend of Surami Fortress», «Ashik-Kerib», and «Confession» (unfinished), Garry Kuntsev about the great Armenian director Sergey Parajanov are included in the book. If you read the book, it will seem to You, that You have been familiar with Parajanov, that you have been at his house, have been his friend, the close person, or the witness of his film shootings, craziness. There are a lot of exclusive, interesting stories about the relations of Parajanov with Tonino Guerra, Marcelo Mastroianni and many other great people of that time. 21 photos, which have never been published before, are also included in the book. The author of most of the photos is Yuri Harmash, a very famous Ukrainian cameraman and photographer, who has taken photos of the Grand Master back in 70`s.
Sergei Parajanov (January 9, 1924 – July 20, 1990) was a Soviet and Armenian film director and artist who made significant contributions to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema. He invented his own cinematic style, which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism (the only sanctioned art style in the USSR). This, combined with his controversial lifestyle and behaviour, led Soviet authorities to repeatedly persecute and imprison him, and suppress his films.
Although he started professional film-making in 1954, Parajanov later disowned all the films he made before 1965 as "garbage". After directing Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (renamed Wild Horses of Fire for most foreign distributions) Parajanov became something of an international celebrity and simultaneously a target of attacks from the system. Nearly all of his film projects and plans from 1965 to 1973 were banned, scrapped or closed by the Soviet film administrations, both local (in Kyiv and Yerevan) and federal (Goskino), almost without discussion, until he was finally arrested in late 1973 on charges of rape, homosexuality and bribery. He was imprisoned until 1977, despite a plethora of pleas for pardon from various artists. Even after his release (he was arrested for the third and last time in 1982) he was a persona non grata in Soviet cinema. It was not until the mid-1980s, when the political climate started to relax, that he could resume directing. Still, it required the help of influential Georgian actor Dodo Abashidze and other friends to have his last feature films greenlighted. His health seriously weakened by four years in labor camps and nine months in prison in Tbilisi, Parajanov died of lung cancer in 1990, at a time when, after almost 20 years of suppression, his films were being featured at foreign film festivals. "Everyone knows that I have three Motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I'm going to die in Armenia." - Sergei Parajanov, 1988.
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