Today I fell in love with Sergey Parajanov. Sergey Parajanov is Armenia’s most important filmmaker and artist, praised by Fellini, Bunuel and Godard, and many others. He is no longer with us but I got to know him a little by visiting the Parajanov Museum in Yerevan.
Parajanov was born in 1924 in Armenia and raised next door in Georgia when both countries were under the control of the Soviet Union. His films and art are visually rich and full of metaphor and allusion. His most famous work, The Color of Pomegranates, is about the Armenian poet, Sayat Nova. The Soviets imprisoned Parjanov three times for his subversive views and alleged homosexuality.
The Parajanov Museum is fun because Parajanov had such a wild and playful imagination. I noticed that he seemed quite focused on heads so here are a bunch of head shots that give you a sense of the breadth of his style and passion.
The museum has a little altar that screens part of the Color of Pomegranates next to a helmeted skull. https://archive.org/details/ColorOfPomegranates-SayatNova1968
Here is a piece I liked because of its reference to Armenian carpets and animals, although the heads are incidental. In my grandparents’ house, a common expletive during wild games of tavli (backgammon) was “esh,” which means “donkey” and a bad word.