One of the most colorful and revered figures in world cinema, Armenian Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990) burst upon the international film world in 1964 with Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, one of the most dazzling movies ever made. A Romeo-and-Juliet tale set in a remote Carpathian village, it is a passionate, richly inventive work marked by breathtaking camera work and stunning color imagery. A multi-faceted artist–painter, musician, collagist, short-story writer, and filmmaker– Parajanov spent more than seven years in prison (1974–1978 and 1982–1985) on a variety of trumped up charges, ranging from homosexuality and spreading venereal diseases to fraud, black marketeering, and "incitement to suicide." After Shadows, Parajanov managed to make only three more full-length films, each astonishing in its own right and each in a completely different style.
Our retrospective is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Works by the Master: The Art of Serguei Parajanov" (November 7–December 17) at the Armenian Library and Museum of America, 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts, which features the first display in America of fifty-six artworks on loan from the Paradjanov Museum in Yerevan.