2019 Convention Film Series

ASEEES is delighted to announce the Film Screenings as part of our 2019 Convention in San Francisco, California, Nov. 23-26. Thank you to our Film Series sponsor, Arizona State University's Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies.


50th Anniversary of Sergei Parajanov's The Color of Pomegranates: Restored Shorts
Saturday, November 23, 7:30 - 9:00 pm - Foothill C
Introduced by Daniel Thomas Bird, The Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project (France)

To mark the 50th anniversary of Sergei Parajanov's The Color of Pomegranates (1969), the Working Group on Cinema and Television is screening three infrequently seen short films by Parajanov in new digital scans and restorations. These playful experiments shed light on Parajanov’s artistic obsessions and stylistic development, but they also deserve recognition as significant statements in their own right.

Kyiv Frescoes (Ukraine, 1965-66) presents the screen tests for an abandoned project about life in contemporary Kyiv, as filtered through a film director’s imagination. Its visual style points toward the tableau aesthetic that Parajanov would refine further in The Color of Pomegranates. 15 minutes, new 4K restoration. 

Hakob Hovnatanyan (Armenia, 1967) is a poetic sketch about the famed 19th century Tbilisi Armenian portrait painter. Parajanov shot the film while preparing for The Color of Pomegranates. 10 minutes, new 4K restoration. 

Arabesques on the Theme of Pirosmani (Georgia, 1985) similarly functions as a poetic fantasy on the famed Georgian folk artist and a meditation on relationship between painting and cinema. 20 minutes, new digital scan.

Films courtesy of the Hamo Bek Nazarov Project, the National Cinema Center of Armenia, the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Center, Georgian Film, and Fixafilm. 

This screening is linked to the roundtable sessionThe Color of Pomegranates (1969): Fiftieth Anniversary, New Developments and Perspectives.” (Mon, November 25, 1:45 to 3:30pm)

The Trial, 2018, 2 hrs 5 min, dir. Sergei Loznitsa
Sunday, November 24, 6:45 - 10:00 pm - Salon 8
Introduced by DSerhii Plokhii, Harvard U, and Oleh Kotsyuba, Harvard U
Sponsored by the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

HURI invites you to the screening of The Trial (2018). Director Sergei Loznitsa will participate in a forum discussion following the screening with prominent scholars of Soviet and post-Soviet history and culture.

In clear reference to Franz Kafka’s allegorical novel of the same name, Loznitsa’s The Trial immerses the viewer in court hearings that were based on absurd charges and forced admissions of guilt. Loznitsa uses actual footage of the trial to lay bare the workings of the totalitarian justice machine. Given the recent rise in authoritarian tendencies across the globe and the reliance on “alternative facts,” an understanding of the nature of show trials acquires new urgency for our times.

From Gulag to Glasnost: The Art of Resistance2001, 39 min, dir. Nina Zaretskaya
Monday, November 25, 10:00 - 11:45 am - Salon 8
Introduced by Dr. Alla Rosenfeld, Merrill C. Berman Collection of 20th Century Avant-Garde Art

Based on the footage filmed during the opening of the Nancy and Norton Dodge collection at Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, the documentary presents a profound artistic and social-political investigation, which provides a broad spectrum of the diverse range of Soviet unofficial art in its historical development from 1953 to 1988. The documentary displays a comprehensive resource of information, ideas and images, revealing the creative insights of the artists who were in the “underground” of Soviet culture.

Memories of the Wave (Souvenirs de vague): a documentary on the Kazakh New Wave by Eugenie Zvonkin 2018, dir. Eugenie Zvonkine 
Monday, November 25, 1:45 - 3:30 pm - Salon 8
Introduced by Eugenie Zvonkine, U of Paris 8 (France)

On the occasion of the reunion of the veterans of the Kazakh New Wave (Rashid Nugmanov, Ardak Amirkulov, Serik Aprymov and Talgat Temenov), the film dwells on their memories, their student years in Sergey Solovyov’s workshop at VGIK, their first films, daring, original and powerful, their attempt to reinvent Kazakh cinema, and their struggle to find their place in the sun.

Oscar2018, 1 hr 30 min, dir. Alexlandr Smolyanskiy
Monday, November 25, 8:00 - 10:00 pm - Golden Gate C2
Introduced by Alexander Smoljanski, Integrum World Wide (Germany), and Daria V. Ezerova, Columbia U

This crowdfunded, award-winning project is the story of one of the most famous Russian artist, Oscar Rabin (1928-2018), who challenged the Soviet communist system and won. In 1974, he organized an open-air art exhibition, which the KGB smashed with the bulldozers. The story spans three decades of the Soviet history and Oscar’s successful attempts to confront the regime with paints and brushes.