Hakob Hovnatanyan
by Sergei Parajanov, Armenia 1967, 10'

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film   Presented at Secret Florence 7th edition, 2022 

Copy retained by the NCCA- National Cinema Centre of Armenia
With a playful associative montage, Parajanov offers an overview of portraits by Hakob Hovnatanyan, a 19th-century Armenian painter known as the 'Raffaello of Tbilisi'. Combining images of Hovnatanyan's paintings and 19th century views of Tbilisi with sound and music, this short documentary is regarded as a precursor to The Color of Pomegranates.

Sergei Parajanov
Born in 1924 in Tbilisi, Georgia, at the time part of the Soviet Union, he is known for his surrealist and visionary poetic style, with which he reinterpreted the popular traditions and legends of his homeland and the Caucasus regions. Because of his outspoken criticism of the Soviet authorities, his works were subject to strong censorship and he himself was imprisoned several times. In the 1970s, he spent more than five years in a Ukrainian prison. Widely celebrated throughout his life by the international film world, he has won numerous awards at major festivals, including Venice (1988), New York (1988), Rotterdam (1987), and Istanbul (1989). His films have been the subject of numerous retrospectives including those of the MoMA of New York, of the Harvard Film Archive, of the Mystetskyi Arsenal of Kyiv, of the Tbilisi History Museum, of the Odessa International Film Festival, and of the Arsenal Berlin. In 2014, the Cineteca di Bologna and The Film Foundation, foundation set up by Martin Scorzese to safeguard the world's film heritage, restored his most famous work, The Color of Pomegranates (1969), which premiered at the 67th Cannes Film Festival (2014).  


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