Herb Shellenberger

Sergei Parajanov: Surrealist Poet of Soviet Cinema
August 14–16, 2013
International House Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA, US

Born in 1924 in modern-day Tbilisi, Georgia, Sergei Parajanov had a keen interest in art from a very young age. He enrolled in the Moscow film school VGIK and studied under prestigious Soviet filmmakers Aleksandr Dovzhenko and Igor Savchenko. However, after creating regime-sanctioned Soviet realist films through the 1950s, Parajanov dismissed his previous work in favor of a subversive style concerned with dreamlike visuals, innovative camerawork and effects, and poetic interpretations of regional folktales. The Color of Pomegranates, his most acclaimed film, was particularly shocking to authorities and was suppressed immediately upon release. Parajanov was sentenced on dubious charges and served the majority of a five-year prison sentence in the mid-1970s, despite the protests of figures as varied as Federico Fellini, Yves Saint Laurent, François Truffaut, John Updike and his close friend (and fellow Soviet filmmaker) Andrei Tarkovsky.

IHP is proud to present Sergei Parajanov's four wonderfully surreal and poetic feature films in beautiful 35mm prints. The series will be introduced by guest speaker James M. Steffen, whose forthcoming book The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov will be released by University of Wisconsin Press in October 2013. In addition, we will kick off the series with a new 35mm print of Nostalghia, the 1983 landmark film-in-exile by Parajanov's friend and collaborator Andrei Tarkovsky.

Ashik Kerib, Sergei Parajanov & Dodo Abashidze, 1988, USSR, 35mm, 73'
The Color of Pomegranates, Sergei Parajanov, 1968, USSR, 35mm, 74'
The Legend of Suram Fortress, Sergei Parajanov, 1984, USSR, 35mm, 88'
Nostalghia, Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983, Italy/USSR, 35mm, 125'
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Sergei Parajanov, 1964, USSR, 35mm, 97'