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The Films of Sergei Paradjanov [4 Discs] [DVD]

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$58.99
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Overview

Synopsis

Tini Zabutykh Predkiv
Along with Tarkovsky and Dovzhenko, Sergei Paradjanov is one of the most important Soviet directors of last century. Paradjanov, who was periodically jailed and exiled because of his work, stunned world audiences in 1964 with his Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors, popularly known as the Romeo and Juliet of the Carpathians. The film is set among the Hutsul people of the Western Ukraine, an isolated ethnic group who live in the upper reaches of the mountain range. Their lives take place within a harsh environment and an ornate cultural system little changed since the 18th century. The film opens with the deaths of Ivanko's brother, Olexa, crushed by a tree, and father, Pyotr Pavlichuk, killed outside of church by his rich neighbor Guteniuk. During the funeral procession for his father, Ivanko meets Guteniuk's daughter, Marichka, and the stage is set for the star-crossed lovers. Structured episodically, the film checks in with Ivanko and Marichka as they fall in love and age towards adulthood. Finally of an age to marry, Ivanko finds himself unable, having been reduced to poverty by his father's death. Forced to work as a hired hand, he must leave his village and his beloved Marichka. Tragedy ensues and the remainder of the film concerns Ivanko's private and subtle dissolution as a result of this tragedy. ~ Brian Whitener, Rovi

The Color of Pomegranates
Director Sergei Paradjanov made a practice of making highly idiosyncratic films based on the folklore of regions in the former Soviet Union. In 1969 he made this film, based in part on the life of the 18th-century Armenian poet, Sayat Nova ('The King of Song'). Renowned for his writings and his religious lifestyle, Sayat Nova became a martyr when he grew too influential for the authorities to control. Seriously out of favor with Soviet governmental bureaucrats, this film was not seen in the international arena until 1977. Then, The Color of Pomegranates was widely acclaimed for its poetic and non-narrative blending of historical and biographical Armenian imagery. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

The Legend of the Surami Fortress
Directors Sergei Paradzhanov and Dodo Abashidze resurrected an old Soviet Georgian folktale as the basis for their film The Legend of Suram Fortress. The fortress in question is forever under construction, and forever collapsing before the last brick can be laid. The advice of a fortuneteller is sought out; the young fellow sent out to seek this advice happens to be the son of a man who years earlier had jilted the fortuneteller. Out of pique, she tells him that he must be walled up in the fortress' wall, else the structure will continue to tumble. So many ancient legends are based upon self-sacrifice that one would think that Legend of Suram Fortress would have nothing new to offer--and one would be quite unfair to this well-crafted film to think along those lines. Never as brilliant as the critics made it out to be, Suram Fortress is still an immensely satisfying work from a gifted filmmaking team. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Hagop Hovnatanian
Paradjanov: A Requiem
Ashik Kerib
Based on a story by Russian author Mikhail Lermontov, Ashik Kerib has the texture of an ancient, oft-told tale. Yuri Mgoyan stars as a wandering troubadour, working the provinces. He spends 1000 days and nights on the road, entertaining whenever and wherever he can. Mgoyan's itinerant lifestyle seemingly has little purpose, but it does. At the end of those 1000 days and nights, he hopes to have accumulated enough money to afford a wedding...if his bride is willing to wait. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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