March 12, 1987 |
The dazzling "The Legend of Surami Fortress," directed by Soviet Georgia's controversial Sergei Paradjanov is the work of a true visionary. The elliptical film, opening at the Fox International in Venice on Friday, is a celebration of an ancient world where Christianity was still intermixed with Muslim beliefs, which dictated rituals and ceremonies that were often as cruel as the existence to which they gave meaning.
April 15, 1989 |
The American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival continues at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas this weekend. Highlights from today's and Sunday's program follow. SUNDAY 'Ashik Kerib' Soviet Union, 1988, 90 minutes 6:30 p.m. Co-director Sergei Paradjanov ("Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors," "The Color of Pomegranates") has created another rapturously strange, eccentric fairy tale: a poor minstrel's 7-year odyssey to prevent his loved one from forced marriage by her Turkish merchant father.
November 29, 1991 |
A gaunt man (Victor Solovyov) in a filthy white uniform escapes at night from a prison in an industrial area, making his way to a large hammer-and-sickle monument made of rotting sheet metal and standing on a bridge embankment. He peels back a section in order to take refuge inside. Yuri Illienko's "Swan Lake--The Zone" (at the Monica 4-Plex) is a film of such astonishing poetic beauty and such constant surprise that what happens after this opening sequence really should not be revealed.
December 7, 1997 |
Judy Stone, the San Francisco Chronicle's highly respected film reviewer-interviewer (now retired from daily reviewing), has led as lively a life as many of the filmmakers we encounter in her "Eye on the World: Conversations With International Filmmakers," and that's what makes her book so rewarding.
December 22, 1991 |
1. Swan Lake--The Zone. Yuri Illienko's poetic account of a Gulag ordeal, based on stories by the late Sergei Paradjanov, evolves into a Christian parable expressed in astonishingly beautiful imagery. 2. Queen of Diamonds. The second feature film of formidable experimental filmmaker Nina Menkes is a lonely Las Vegas odyssey with feminist implications. 3. Requiem for Dominic.
December 4, 1998 |
It's hard to think of anyone who puts the redemptive power of art to the test more severely than performance artist Ron Athey, who works out his Pentecostal upbringing, his former heroin addiction, his homosexuality and his HIV status in increasingly elaborate--and increasingly meaningful--tableaux vivants in which sadomasochistic practices act as a force of liberation from society's oppressiveness and also from the fear of death. Catherine Gund Saalfield's absorbing 90-minute "Hallelujah!