Close Up

10 March 2019: Sergei Parajanov Shorts


Kiev Frescoes
Sergei Parajanov, 1966, 15 min

What was supposed to become a feature-length film about the aftermath of WWII in contemporary Kiev, turned into a short collage, based on the remaining footage after all negatives were destroyed by the authorities. These tests however clearly indicate a radical stylistic shift from his prior and widely celebrated Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.

Hakob Hovnatanyan
Sergei Parajanov, 1967, 10 min

With a playful associative montage, Parajanov offers an overview of portrait paintings by Hakob Hovnatanyan, the "Raphael of Tiflis". Combining sights and sounds from both Hovnatanyan’s paintings and 19th century Tbilisi, Parajanov’s short documentary can be seen as a direct precursor to The Colour of Pomegranates.

Arabesques on the Pirosmani Theme
Sergei Parajanov, 1985, 21 min

A documentary film about the great Georgian outsider artist Niko Pirosmani. By filming the detail and themes of his colourful paintings, Parajanov creates an engaging and mysterious portrait of Georgia itself. This later work is often seen as a companion piece to Hakob Hovnatanyan, since it also takes its subject from a famous painter.

Hakob Hovnatanyan, restoration produced by Daniel Bird in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia, Fixafilm Poland and Kino Klassika Foundation.

Kiev Frescoes, restoration produced by Daniel Bird in association with the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre and Fixafilm Poland.

Arabeques on the Pirosmani Theme, digital print courtesy of the Georgian National Archives.

Part of our Close-Up on Sergei Parajanov