Short films by Sergei Parajanov


Hakob Hovnatanyan (1967).

I’ve been enthusing for years about the unique films of Sergei Parajanov (1924–1990), usually in vain since his work hasn’t always been easy to see and is (for now) poorly served by DVD. His two masterworks, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (1964) and The Colour of Pomegranates (1968), have both been issued on disc but in shoddy versions with prints that are scratched and desaturated, and the latter suffers from poor subtitling. Parajanov’s films make bold use of colour and a washed-out print does him no favours at all. In an ideal world the BFI or Criterion would give these films the attention they deserve.

Grumbles aside, Ubuweb comes up trumps again by posting three of Parajanov’s shorter works, none of which I’d seen before. These give some idea of his distinctive tableaux style, and his recurrent preoccupation with decorative details and close views of objects.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Disasters of War