Documentaries on Paradjanov and Mamoulian | Chicago Reader

Documentaries on Paradjanov and Mamoulian

Patrick Cazals directed the excellent French video documentaries Sergei Paradjanov, the Rebel (2004, 52 min.) and Rouben Mamoulian: The Golden Age of Broadway and Hollywood (2006, 63 min.), which look at two very different directors born in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. The Paradjanov portrait skimps on the more conventional early features, but it's priceless for its interviews with the eccentric director (shot during production of his last feature, Ashik Kerib) and its sampling of the collages he produced during his long prison terms. The Mamoulian documentary also features fascinating interviews with its subject, covering both his stage and his movie work, and it confirms that Mamoulian, remembered mainly as a technical innovator, was an underrated and highly cultivated filmmaker. Clips are limited to trailers (from Mamoulian's Becky Sharp and Blood and Sand) and audio from the directors' features, but Cazals proves that excerpts aren't essential if the insights are sufficiently sharp. In English and subtitled French and Armenian.


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