Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tini zabutykh predkiv (Sergei Parajanov, 1964) aka Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Parajanov, 1964)

Parajanov's jawdroppingly gorgeous Russian period drama puts Doctor Zhivago to shame Rich in style and culture, the story almost becomes secondary, although still very touching as we follow Ivan through his life as he is haunted by the death of his loved ones. Parajanov's compositions are exquisite, ranging from flames or flowers in the foreground, POV shots peaking through cracks, sunlight radiating through the treetops, and even angular framings conjuring the montage directors stylistics. The film also employs new wave influenced editing techniques at times. The colors are vibrant in the lush and beautiful woodland setting during winter and spring. Most significant is the incredibly kinetic floating camera movements, in the same vein as Mikhail Kalatozov's films. Parajanov gives us mesmerizing 360 degree movements, free flowing dolly and crane shots at varying speeds, and much more. This film is a truly magical cinematic experience.

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