Armenian-Georgian filmmaker and artist Sergei Parajanov’s radical, visually dynamic Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and The Color of Pomegranates, distinguished by cultural folklore and myth, are only the best known works of this peerless Soviet-era filmmaker, a student of Moscow’s prestigious VGIK film school. Internationally respected, he nevertheless became increasingly controversial in the Soviet Union, dealing with censorship and imprisonment. This program brings together three remarkable short works, meditations on the nature of art and artists that boast his singular, colorful, collage-like style and which have been newly restored: Kiev Frescoes (1966), consisting of the remaining footage of a confiscated project about post–WWII Kiev; Hakob Hovnatanyan (1967), a tribute to the art of nineteenth-century Armenian painter; and Arabesques on the Pirosmani Theme (1986), bringing to life the playful work of Georgian outsider artist Niko Pirosmani. Restorations by Fixafilm (Warsaw) and NCCA (National Cinema Centre of Armenia), produced within the Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project. Restoration supervised by Lukasz Ceranka and produced by Daniel Bird. Financial support from Kino Klassika Foundation (London). An NYFF57 selection.
See a restoration comparison for Arabesques on the Pirosmani Theme. On the left, a scan of the archival print from the Parajanov Museum and, on the right, the restoration from the original camera negative.