Friday, 9 January 2009

Armenia marks 85th bday of Parajanov

Public Radio of Armenia reports:

Renowned Armenian film director of the 20th century, People’s Artist of Armenia and Ukraine Sergey Parajanov would turn 85 today. On this occasion his relatives and art lovers visited the Komitas Pantheon to pay tribute to the memory of the great aesthete.

The whole life of the famous and wonderful director was an amusing and tragic, attractive and sometimes very dangerous game, especially in a Soviet country. His first important film was the “Shadows of forgotten ancestors” shot in 1964.

One of Parajanov’s masterpieces is the film “The color of pomegranate” telling about Sayat Nova. Both films were, however, criticized during Soviet times. “Being the king of clowns, he never became the clown of the kings.” These words are perhaps the most characteristic of Parajanov.

According to Director of Parajanov’s home-museum Zaven sargsyan, his greatest value was that he was trying to have no controversies with his own conscience, say what he thinks and what he considers to be right.

In 1973 the Soviet government sentenced Parajanov to five years of imprisonment, accusing him of homosexuality. Many artists, writers, directors from different sides of the world reacted to his imprisonment. Despite that, only in four years Parajanov was set free due to mediation of Louis Aragon, a world-known French writer.

For many years he was prohibited from shooting films. Only in 80s he was allowed to shoot the “Legend of the Surinam Tower” and “Ashug Gharib.”

During the last years of his life Parajanov was shooting the autobiographic film “Confession,” which remained uncompleted and was later used for Michael Vardanov’s documentary titled “Parajanov’s last spring.” Parajanov died of cancer in July 1990 in Yerevan. 2009 is a jubilee year for the great artist.

Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan assures that the occasion will be used to present the greatest Armenian director to the world.

*image from Namakani film; /emphasis mine/

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