Kyiv Frescoes: Sergei Paradjanov’s Unrealized Film Project

By James M. Steffen (Emory University)

© James M. Steffen, 2009

kiev frescoKyiv Frescoes (1965-66), the aborted project that Paradjanov planned as his follow-up to Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964), was arguably the turning point of his career. He conceived it fully aware of his position as one of the leading directors of the Soviet Union, thanks to the critical success of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors both at home and abroad. Now that he was able for the first time to propose a film based on his own screenplay, he hoped to use the opportunity to cement his status as a world-class auteur by making the kind of highly personal, formally innovative film that was popular at the time in the international art house and film festival circuits. Evidently, Paradjanov thought of himself as a rival not only to Soviet colleagues such as Andrei Tarkovsky and Mikhail Kalatozov, but also to Western European filmmakers such as François Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, and above all, Federico Fellini, with whom he felt a special affinity.

Work on Kyiv Frescoes lasted approximately one year, from early 1965 to early 1966. Although Paradjanov never received approval to begin shooting due to conflicts with the authorities, he did manage to complete various drafts of the script and the initial screen tests, which he edited into a self-contained 13-minute short with a soundtrack. Considered as a whole, these surviving materials provide a fascinating glimpse into the film Paradjanov never shot. The project is important not only as the first systematic articulation of the director’s poetic, tableau-style aesthetic that found its fullest realization in The Color of Pomegranates, but also as an unusual attempt by him to use that aesthetic with a contemporary subject.

Like a number of other Soviet films produced at the time, Kyiv Frescoes was intended to commemorate the 20th anniversary of World War II—in this case, the liberation of Kyiv from German occupation. The story could hardly be simpler: on May 9, 1965, an unnamed film director—referred to simply as “the Man” (Chelovek) but obviously Paradjanov himself—pays a “Longshoreman” (Gruzchik) to deliver a basket of flowers to a retired general. Somehow he gives the incorrect address to the Longshoreman, who delivers the basket instead to a “Woman,” a war widow working as a custodian at the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Arts in Kyiv, home of a famed portrait of the Infanta Margarita by Diego Velázquez.[1] The Longshoreman ends up spending the night at the woman’s apartment. In the final episode of the script, the Infanta Margarita steps out of the painting to pay her respects to the widow who has devoted her life to the upkeep of the museum. A group of soldiers tiptoes past the Woman and pauses to admire the beauty of the Velázquez painting.

Against the background of the ongoing anniversary celebration, Paradjanov presents—to use Cora Tsereteli’s apt term—“kaleidoscopic” impressions of contemporary life in Kyiv (Paradzhanov 2001: 51). We catch glimpses of people from different walks of life, from the working class to the cultural intelligentsia and the military elite. While the Man is depicted as but one character in the story, there are suggestions throughout that the entire story is somehow filtered through his imagination. This self-reflexive, autobiographical aspect of the script, which incorporates dreams and the fantastic, is undoubtedly inspired by Fellini’s 8 ½, which was widely seen and discussed among filmmakers and critics in the Soviet Union at that time and was among Paradjanov’s favorite films.

The Literary Scenario

The script underwent so many stages of revisions—due in no small part to Paradjanov’s protracted battle with the authorities—that it is difficult to speak of a definitive version. The text published in the December 1990 issue of Iskusstvo kino represents, according to E. Levin, the literary scenario (literaturnyi stsenarii) that Paradjanov officially submitted to the studio for approval. That version had already been revised from his original draft, which Levin claims “was impossible to submit to the studio in the prescribed manner.” Levin goes on to characterize the initial draft rather exuberantly as “outwardly chaotic, incoherent, rhythmic, film-imagistic (kinoizobrazitel'nuiu) prose: more precisely, a romantic ballad for the screen, set forth in metaphors that are subtle, whimsical, often difficult to catch or—better to say—a lyrical, wistful film-poem suffused with light […],” and so on (Paradjanov 1990: 42).[2] Such language hardly seems out of place given what we see in subsequent, supposedly tamed-down drafts.

kiev frescoThe version edited by Cora Tsereteli and published in the collection Ispoved' incorporates passages from different drafts of the shooting script which are not clearly distinguished from one another. Her approach has its merits since she is trying to create reading versions of Paradjanov’s scripts pitched toward a general audience. Given, as I have said, the virtual impossibility of calling one draft or another “definitive,” there is some justification for assembling a composite text, as Tsereteli has done, that retains some of the most striking passages that had to be removed from various drafts to appease the authorities. However, I have decided to select the text published in Iskusstvo kino for the bulk of my analysis here since it is supposed to represent a single, cohesive draft; I will also quote passages from later drafts to give a general sense of Paradjanov’s conception as it evolved and to show how these changes were incorporated partly to address criticisms from on high.

The script opens with the legend: “The film is conceived by me as CINEFRESCOES [kinofreski].” Thus, at the outset he is suggesting that the film will be a departure from conventional film narrative--the episodes will be relatively self-contained, the visual style of the film will be influenced by the fine arts. He then supplies the following definitions for the term “fresco,” citing the Great Soviet Encyclopedia:

Fresco (Ital. fresco): Primary meaning—fresh.
Fresco: enables the creation of monumental works that are organically linked with architecture and time.
Fresco: the palette of a fresco is quite restrained, giving a noble simplicity.
The method of executing frescoes has changed with their development (Paradjanov 1990: 43).

The wording here is deliberately chosen to inform the reader at the outset of the character of the future film: a “public” work of art that is at the same time formally innovative. Implicitly, he is defending innovation as necessary to the development of any art form, including film.

The opening paragraph of the prologue suggests that while the film is closely tied to the director’s perceptions and thought processes, its scope is much broader:

Light is burning in an apartment… In the nighttime silence tires are still making noise on the wet asphalt of the boulevard…

The silhouettes of a poplar, Shchors, Vladimir [Volodymyr] are outlined in the darkness…

In “the apartment where light was burning” the camera slowly glides past dilapidated parsunas of hetmans, antique copperware… hand-worked glass [gutnomu steklu]… it stops on a sleeping man…

“The Man” opened his eyes… he listens attentively to the silence of the city… (Paradjanov 1990: 43)[3]

Thus, in a typically condensed manner Paradjanov is evoking a broad range of Ukrainian experience, from historical figures to traditional and contemporary folk art. The Man is subsequently awakened in the middle of the night by three soldiers who drop by to ask for hot water and matches. He invites them inside and urges them make themselves at home before going back to sleep.

The remainder of the script is divided into ten “frescoes,” not unlike how Paradjanov used the term “miniatures” to describe the individual chapters in the original script for The Color of Pomegranates. Each “fresco,” while taking place in a relatively constricted moment of time, does not necessarily consist of a single image or tableau, as one would expect from Paradjanov’s choice of terminology; they incorporate various juxtaposed details, actions and locales, suggesting at times a monumental and complex composition that is too vast to be taken in at a single glance.

In Fresco No. 1, the Man awakens in the morning to discover the soldiers thoughtfully washing and polishing his floor. The opening section demonstrates how Paradjanov wants to construct scenes out of finely observed fragmentary details and sensual impressions; it also suggests the use of repetition to give the film a sense of rhythm:

“The Man” awoke with a chill…
It smelled of kirza…[4]
Somewhere water was running…
In the doorway stood three pairs of boots… and on the rigid boot tops, foot wrappings were drying out…
Bare feet moved rapidly back and forth over the wet floor…
It smelled of kirza
Water was running…
Bare feet moved rapidly… (Paradjanov 1990: 43-44)

After the soldiers have left, the Man finds that, as he requested, they have turned off the gas and shut the door behind them. They have also left a single apple out of the fruit he offered them the night before. Thus the script emphasizes the basic kindness and decency of ordinary people.

Fresco No. 2 is by far the longest section of the script, taking up nearly half its length. Suggesting a virtuoso display of montage, it juxtaposes the ceremony in Victory Square, which consists mainly of soldiers marching in formation and artillery salutes, with various details observed  throughout the city or imagined by the director. Although the section is too long to reproduce in its entirety, I will quote from the opening portion of it to give a sense of how it is constructed:

…A parquet floor, polished until it gleams…
…Soldiers’ boots walk knowingly on their tiptoes…
…The parquet floor creaks a little…
…Boots walk…
…Taking aim at Kyiv--a hand turns an artillery drum…
SALVO (fireworks)…
…Boots march on tiptoes…
SALVO.
…The art museum… the Infanta [Margarita] by Velázquez…
Zurbarán…
Goya…
Morales…
Soldiers tiptoe past them…
SALVO.
A wheelchair…
A pot of flowers with white crowns…
A string bag with cannonball-like oranges…
The invalid presses on the pedals… flies past the stoplight… enters alone on the empty Victory Square…
SALVO.
…The Shchors monument… A group of generals stands in line…
…The photographer focuses off his knee…
…Wives straighten up their husbands’ overcoats, blow away bits of lint…
…Mirrored giants—refrigerated trucks—speed up the highway…
…Wheelchairs bustle…
SALVO.
Twenty military cargo trucks with soldiers drive up to the columns of the circus…
…Twenty military cargo trucks are unloaded…
…Twenty companies one after the other make their way toward the entrance among the columns… they disappear…
…Only one block of soldiers broke out… split off… scattered…
…The soldiers ran… overtaking the streetcars… crossing the asphalt…
SALVO
…An old Pobeda car came to a sudden stop…
The “Woman-driver” opened the hood… stuck her head inside to check the gears…
…The flowing stream of soldiers came to a sudden halt…
…The open door of the café “Express.”
The soldiers are standing once again, are once again closing ranks into a square… They march… disappear among the columns of the circus.

SALVO
“The Man” ran into a flower shop… it smelled damp.
“The Woman-decorator” [zhenshchina-dekorator] offers him a basket that looks like a salad à la carte… she assures him that arrangement has a center, pointing to a red flower.
“The Man” doesn’t like the basket.
He has to pay up front in order to have a basket made to his taste.
SALVO
…A hand opens a plywood chest… takes out newspapers… blows off naphthalene… uncovers a “general’s uniform”…
The uniform bent… began to jingle with the medals, decorations… stars…
SALVO
…A hand wipes a long line of crystal vases…
The crystal sparkled… rang…
SALVO
The courtyards of the Kyiv Lavra Monastery… unwashed monks.
SALVO
…Pussy-willows…
…The communal graves in the Baikove Cemetery… White identical plaques… women in black… (Paradjanov 1990: 44-46)

The twenty shots fired in commemoration of twentieth anniversary structure the entire montage sequence, both marking changes in location and linking them in time. At first glance some of the fragmentary images are difficult to place within the overall narrative, though some, particularly the image of the tiptoeing soldiers, are developed more fully later in the film.

kiev frescoThe images are primarily organized around the script’s two main themes, war and art; they share something of the vision of the city expressed by artists such as James Joyce (particularly the long chapter at the center of Ulysses following different characters throughout Dublin) and Dziga Vertov (above all in The Man With a Movie Camera). In other words, montage as a technique represents the experience of the city as simultaneity, as loose juxtapositions of people and details from different walks of life. In that respect, Paradjanov’s vision of Kyiv is typically Modernist.

In Fresco No. 3, we catch a glimpse of the Man’s (i.e., the director’s) private life. On an impulse, he visits his ex-wife’s apartment on Pyrohovs'ka St. late at night and asks for their old baby carriage, which he has decided to give to Yasha, a neighborhood police officer whose wife has just given birth. The fact that the wife is not seen at all but is represented as only a voice behind a door implies family troubles, a reading which is reinforced in Fresco No. 9, in which the Man’s son gets caught in the middle of a fight with other boys and lights trash cans on fire during a visit to a city park.

Frescoes 4, 5 and 6 comprise a triptych depicting dreams of the filmmaker, the Woman and the Longshoreman, respectively. The script indicates that the first two episodes are to be accompanied by a Bach fugue on the soundtrack. All three begin with parallel images of the sleeping city, followed by shots of the individual dreamers. In Fresco No. 4, the Man dreams that “flowers are floating along an empty street.” The Longshoreman approaches his window in expectation of their arrival, but his hope is frustrated when the flowers fall and are carried away by water flowing down the street; this image is repeated. He is left only with a handful of dirt and roots:

…“the Longshoreman” is bewildered…
…he becomes angry…
…he wants to cry out in the silence…
…he makes a threatening gesture…
...Earth… roots… glass is broken… Glass floats without a sound… along the asphalt, and water, running water carries the pieces away… And the winds… they catch the white lace of the curtains with two big hands they sail, sail, sail over the sleeping city… (Paradjanov 1990: 51)

Fresco No. 5, the Woman’s dream, contains some pointed allusions to the siege of Kyiv during World War II: namely, pasting strips of gauze on windowpanes to protect the glass during bombing raids and burying cultural artifacts (in this case, Velázquez’s portrait of the Infanta Margarita) in order to hide them from the German troops. The association between the curtains, the widow’s bridal veil and the gauze strips is particularly affecting:

…The wind caused the curtain to flutter…
…The City was sleeping…
…“The Woman” was also sleeping…
…The curtain touched her and she became entangled in a bridal veil.
…then in lace…
…then in gauze…
…The gauze was cut up into ribbons…
…The ribbons were dyed in ink…
…The ribbons were glued onto windows…
…Boards were planed… a box was made…
…A box was made… The “Infanta Margarita” was placed in the bottom.
…The coffin was nailed… for a long time… loudly…
…A hole was dug… for a long time… loudly…
…“Do Not Invert” was written on the coffin
…A “glass” …an “umbrella” were drawn in India ink…[5]
…The hole was filled up (Paradjanov 1990: 51).

Fresco No. 6, the Longshoreman’s dream, also alludes to the bombing of Kyiv during the war--the extinguishing of lights (required for safety reasons during air raids) and the symbolically loaded image of spilled milk:

…The wind fluttered the curtain…
…The city was sleeping…
…“The Longshoreman” was also sleeping…
…“The Longshoreman” walked along the streets of the nighttime city…
…“The Longshoreman” carried a crate of milk.
…Somewhere a child was crying…
...The light went out in a window…
…A flower fell to pieces, and on the cobblestones of a road a bottle of milk fell and shattered…
…Running water, colored by milk, disappeared into the open pharynxes [zevakh] of the gutters…
…Bombs whistled… aimed at the piles of milk [bottles] in iron armatures.
…Behind the piles of milk hid a deaf-mute and a girl…
…Again, he was hitting his palm against his fist[6] and was reaching for the girl’s breasts… and the latter pulled away from him…
…And bombs fell straight into the milk… it streamed… exposing the frames of the armatures… And the deaf-mute, grasping his throat, cried out for the first time:
—War!
And the girl covered the wound on the young man’s throat and also cried out for the first time:
—War!
And in the courtyard where “He” was carrying flowers, where underwear and sheets were hanging, naked young women, awakened by the cry, were running wild in the night, snatching up the underwear…  rushed about among the broken clotheslines and snapping clothespins (Paradjanov 1990: 51-52).

The dream ends abruptly as the Longshoreman wakes up in the morning in the Woman’s apartment. The widow has already left; he finds only a note reading, “I went to get some milk.” These three central frescoes are the film’s thematic fulcrum: the characters’ interconnected dreams represent the collective memory of the war that binds together all the inhabitants of the city.

kiev frescoEarly the next morning, in Fresco No. 7, we see the Man standing on the balcony of his apartment overlooking Victory Square. His view, which includes the Aeroflot ticket office and the circus, corresponds with Paradjanov’s actual apartment at that time. The Man watches equestrian exercises, during which the four white horses become agitated when they see a black stallion led into the back of a truck heading to the slaughterhouse.

This incident is juxtaposed comically with the image of an older, heavily decorated “General” and his elderly mother waiting in front of the Aeroflot cashier and trying to hail a taxi to the airfield. The general ends up hitching a ride in the back of a cargo vehicle full of apples, while his mother walks off with a young boy who is heading to the zoo to feed the animals. Her husband, we learn, is buried at a nearby cemetery. The woman promises to give the young boy a cross that belonged to her husband.

In Fresco No. 8, the General and his mother are revisited: the General drives a white Volga on the highway to Lubny, racing past a bus, passing in front of it and forcing it to stop so he can help his mother onto it.

In Fresco No. 9, the Man takes his son to kindergarten, where the children tease the boy because of the divorce: “One daddy brings him here, and another daddy takes him home!” A fight breaks out, the son runs off, crying, setting refuse containers on fire along the way. The Man runs to catch up with him; the son stops only when he hears the whistle of a policeman, whereupon he hides behind his father. This is juxtaposed with a scene at the Khanenko Museum of Arts:

The Museum… A hand opens a cassone (a chest from 5th century Spain) and places a bottle of milk in the corner…
In the long suite of rooms the museum custodians dusted off the masterpieces… polished the floor with rags…
“The Woman” sat under the “Infanta Margarita” and covered her face with the palm of her hand… it seemed as if she had dozed off… (Paradjanov 1990: 54)

The image of the custodians polishing the floor is probably intended to mirror the image of the soldiers washing the Man’s floor at the beginning of the script. In addition, the bottle of milk recalls—and contrasts with—that of the bombed milk crates in the Longshoreman’s dream.

The action of Fresco No. 10 immediately follows this last scene, opening with a dream that expresses the director’s feelings of compassion and respect for the Woman:

…An empty frame… with the inscription “Velázquez”
…The museum custodians polish the floor…
…The young Infanta Margarita polishes the floor…
…She smiles at the sleeping “woman”.
…It seems as if the Infanta is dancing the Galliard.
…She bows to the “Woman” and reaches out for her with her hand.
…“The Woman” gives a start… (Paradjanov 1990: 54).

The inspired closing passage depicts a group of soldiers visiting the museum:

…One after another soldier’s boots walk up the stairs…
…Boots walk from room to room…
…“The woman” is sleeping.
…Boots walk past the sleeping “woman.”
…The boots sharply reduce their pace… sail on tiptoes, they call to order one after the other… 
…they stop before the “Infanta.”
The voice of an art historian:
—Stand in a circle… the “Infanta Margarita,” Velázquez, Spain… Attention please… The heartfelt beauty of the young Infanta… her sunny color… the execution of her silken hair is conveyed with great realistic force… Her eyes reflect the emotional world of her youthful existence… The Infanta looks across the ages… as a symbol of beauty and rapture…

…The solders are reflected in the glass over the masterpiece, scrutinizing themselves, straightening their hair… adjusting their belts… puffing out their chests… they take turns… nudging each other… then they slowly turn their heads…
…A window is opened wide… two barefooted girls sharply wring out rags and wash off the dust from the windowpanes…
…The wind causes their silhouettes to sway… they are entangled in the spring branches of chestnut trees…
…Water streams over the glass… in it is reflected
…Spring
…The Infanta…
…Red columns…
Kobzar… (Paradjanov 1990: 54).[7]

Paradjanov’s vision in the script is profoundly humanistic; through close observation of the characters’ individual gestures, not only does he affirm the basic generosity and kindness of people on an everyday level, but he celebrates art as a reflection of their inner beauty and their capacity for good. While he acknowledges the sacrifices that war entailed, for him war is not the natural state of human existence. War is transient, but art is eternal. In that respect, the most expressive image of the script is the juxtaposition of soldiers marching in formation and salvos fired into the air with the serene beauty of the Infanta Margarita; this is echoed in the image of a group of soldiers touring the museum and stopping in front of the painting, using the reflection in the protective glass covering the painting to adjust their uniforms. While humans still possess the capacity for violence, Paradjanov views it as an immature state, as represented by the playground fight in Fresco No. 9.

To be sure, parts of the script ultimately work better than others; in particular, the scene of the deaf-mute accosting the girl during the air raid seems forced and mawkish compared to the obliqueness and subtlety of many other images. However, on the whole it remains a vivid and touching work, the strongest of Paradjanov’s unrealized scripts after Confession.

The initial reception of the literary scenario was, on the whole, sympathetic. In the April 5, 1965 Resolution summarizing the March 25 meeting of the Dovzhenko Studio’s Script-Editorial Board, the Board praised the film both for its formal qualities—among them, its originality of conception, “the concentrated quality of the composition,” and “unexpected montage conflicts that give birth to a brilliant associative vision”—and for its profound treatment of the legacy of World War II upon contemporary life in Ukraine. They write:

The fabric of the script is striking for its generous collection of vivid, unusual details that reveal sides and aspects of city life to us that are at times invisible to the naked, unaided eye. The author exposes before us reality taken in the most diverse aspects. Here the poetic quality of the narrative is magnificently combined with publicistic acuteness. Let us recall the dreams about war—the widow’s, the man’s and the Longshoreman’s dreams, out of which grow a general symbolic image of the war, and somewhere alongside before us passes the most subtle psychological scenes with the boy in kindergarten and the boy setting refuse containers on fire.[8]

The two main criticisms focused on the “haphazard” arrangement of the individual “frescoes” and the protagonist’s lack of a clear personal connection with the war. In fact, the full transcript of the March 25 meeting reveals that there was some debate about who was actually the main character. Most people attending the meeting argued that the Man should be understood as the main character, but a few insisted that it was the Longshoreman instead. Some members also recommended that Paradjanov flesh out the dialogue in the shooting script, since the literary scenario was largely lacking in it.[9] Moreover, I would add that one sign of troubles to come was that the “appallingly vulgar bourgeois world” alluded to in the Resolution was in fact the home of an army general. This unflattering representation of military commanders would become an increasingly bitter point of contention as the project developed.

The Shooting Script

The draft of the shooting script dated May 30, 1965 is probably the version that was submitted to the studio. The film’s crew at this point was designated as: Paradjanov (Writer and Director); Oleksandr Antypenko (Director of Photography); E. Sarenko (Production Designer); L. Baikova (Costumes); Valentin Silvestrov (Composer); S. Serhienko (Sound Operator); M. Ponomarenko (Film Editor); Oleksandr Syzonenko (Script Editor); V. Protsenko (Supervising [Script] Editor).

kiev frescoIt is especially worth noting the presence of Antypenko, who was supposed to have made his debut with this project. He first met Paradjanov while working as a still photographer on The Flower on the Stone (1962). As a student in the cinematography program at the VGIK, he fulfilled his practicum as an assistant on Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Because Antypenko had not yet completed his degree, Vasyl' Tsvirkunov, the director of the Dovzhenko Film Studio, expressed reservations about Paradjanov’s choice. Antypenko suggests that Paradjanov chose him precisely because of his inexperience, which allowed him to experiment freely, without established preconceptions and habits (Antypenko 1990: 64). Regular crew members carried over from Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors included Lidiia Baikova, the costume designer, and Mariia Ponomarenko, Paradjanov’s preferred film editor.

The shooting script is substantially similar to the literary scenario, but there are some telling differences. The prologue has been expanded, emphasizing the script’s Felliniesque, self-reflexive quality even further; no doubt Paradjanov did this in part to answer criticisms that the character of the Man (the film director) was not developed enough. I shall quote from the shooting script extensively since some of this text has not been published before at all, let alone translated into English.

FADE IN
A hand in a white glove opened a case...
Optics [optical instruments] on black velvet began to shine...
Filters of various specifications and sizes.
A hand draws out tulle... white... black...
The wheels of a dolly roll...
The flaps of a camera open out. An “Ukraina.”

A complex cascade of wheels... The hand in the white glove loads the camera...
The camera doors slam shut... “Ukraina”
The handle on the tripod revolves.
The camera glides...
Against a background of black velvet... three white faces...
The cinematographer...
The production designer...
The director...

 

Hands in white gloves cover them up with black velvet...

The cinematographer...
The production designer...
The director... disappear under the black canopy…

The camera glides... comes to a stop...
The hand in the white glove removes the lens cover...
The movie camera lens fills the entire screen...
The lights of Kyiv are reflected in the halo of the lens...
The lights go out... the city’s quarters go dark...
Darkness comes... A pause...
The lights from lighting equipment flick on...
Great and small, filling the scene with light...

A title appears:

KYIV FRESCOES

During the entire episode the voice of the “MAN” is superimposed.

In this film—a Salute to the twentieth anniversary—the sky lights up...

MARK THE OCCASION – “THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF PEACE”...

“THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY”—ANXIETY ABOUT THE FUTURE...

REAL EVERYDAY EXISTENCE – THE VICISSITUDES OF LIFE OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES, OF THE NATION, AND IN THEIR HEARTS!!! [sic] THESE CINEFRESCOES ARE BEING PAINTED...

I AM THE DIRECTOR! THE CINEMATOGRAPHER! AND THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER! WE’RE GOING INTO FILM-TIME IN ORDER TO SEE THE TYPICAL AND TO RESUSCITATE THE TYPICAL IN AN IMAGE.

AN IMAGE... IN WHICH THE PRESENT MERGES WITH THE PAST... THE PAST WITH THE FUTURE...

FADE IN

The subsequent lines repeat the opening of the literary scenario, only in this draft Paradjanov emphasizes that the Man’s apartment is a soundstage, and a clapper is held in front of the camera to mark the beginnings of shots.

kiev frescoThis passage marks the origin of an important current that runs throughout Paradjanov’s subsequent films: a self-reflexive examination of film as a medium. In addition to 8 1/2, the most obvious point of reference here is Vertov’s The Man With a Movie Camera (Chelovek s kinoapparatom, 1929, VUFKU) although the main body of Paradjanov’s screenplay is fictional—a crucial difference between his and Vertov’s work. Here, the purpose of the device is partly to underscore the authenticity of what follows. As one of the director’s voice-over comments suggests (“We’re going into film-time in order to see the typical and to resuscitate the typical in an image.”), the device is intended as a means for achieving greater realism, which is also Vertov’s goal. The self-reflexivity of the opening is mirrored in the closing section, where the three production heads are reflected in the glass over the painting of the Infanta Margarita.

Another noteworthy scene added to this draft of the shooting script appears between Frescoes 3 and 4, after the Man gives the police officer the baby carriage and before his dream at night. Walking the streets at night, the Man witnesses a soldier in a Panama hat flirting with a young woman pricing hats in the display window of a department store. This image inspires a brief reverie:

FADE IN
Wires buzzed on two high-voltage poles passing through the cemetery…

Under a pole stood an ashugh, he sang Sayat-Nova…
On a fresh grave lay a hat…
“THE MAN” stood near the grave…
Pause…
The wind picks up…
The wind lifts the hat off the grave…
The wind lifts the hat off “THE MAN”
The hats snatched up by the wind were carried off into infinity…
“THE MAN”—it seems funny to him, running off in hopes of catching his hat…
Escaping in the wind, the hats are suddenly united, turning into a soccer ball…
The poles and crosses disappear.
“THE MAN” disappears…
Just the wind [which] blows before it boys chasing after the ball…
Excited white steeds neigh, harnessed to a lacquer phaeton…
A man with a sacrificial lamb…
it whines in his arms…
A BOY—“THE MAN”—stops abruptly…
…approaches the phaeton…
The wind blows the boys toward the horizon…
and the horizon engulfs them…
A hand presses on a lever…
Creaking, the lacquer canopy [baldakhin] of the phaeton raises…
Pause…
… “THE MAN” approaches the grave… He has a hat in his hands…
He beats the dust off it… puts on the hat…

Pause.
The wires buzzed… the ashugh began to sing Sayat-Nova.
“THE MAN” took off the hat and placed it by the head of the grave… pinned it down with a stone.
The hat struggled in the wind, wishing to escape to the steppe.
FADE OUT

kiev frescoThe graveyard episode is clearly intended to evoke the private fantasy world of Fellini’s 8 1/2, only with an Armenian accent, as suggested by such details as the ashugh singing Sayat-Nova and the animal sacrifice. The explicit reference to Paradjanov’s ethnic identity makes the autobiographical aspect of the script unmistakable and sets the character of the Man apart from the predominantly Ukrainian location and characters. Another innovative aspect of film’s intended style that emerges in the shooting script is Paradjanov’s insistence on conveying most of the narrative information visually. Not only is there relatively little dialogue, but “pantomime” is specifically indicated in a number of places next to the action.

As would become apparent, Paradjanov’s desire to create an “art film” was fundamentally at odds with the expectations of the authorities regarding the representation of the Great Patriotic War. In a memo dated June 29, 1965, the Main Administration of Derzhkino (Ukraine’s equivalent of Goskino) wrote to Sviatoslav Ivanov, Derzhkino’s head, acknowledging the script’s stylistic accomplishment with the kind of language that only a committee could invent: “The associative quality of an overwhelming number of episodes and their interesting pictorial and plastic realization makes the script brilliant in its visual-emotional perception and frequently symbolic.” Tellingly, the Main Administration proceeded to criticize the shooting script for lacking enough concrete ties to the Great Patriotic War:

Touching upon such a crucial theme as that of the Great Patriotic War—and this is determined by the choice of characters (the general, soldiers, the woman who lost her husband in the war, etc.) and the time of the action (the anniversary of the liberation of Kyiv)—the author should have introduced, albeit in an associative form, episodes into the script which would speak about the heroism of the Soviet people, about the great feat accomplished by them. Unfortunately, this is not in the script so far. And to not talk about it means to say nothing about the Great Patriotic War.

They also complained that the “utter lack of the living human word in the script” and the “excessive encodedness of a number of episodes” made it too difficult for the average spectator to understand. So while they gave Derzhkino permission at that point to launch the film into production, it was clear that they harbored significant reservations.

The Screen Tests

The film was subsequently launched into production and Paradjanov shot screen tests, which he edited into a self-contained 13-minute short complete with a soundtrack—in effect a sketch of visual ideas for the future film. Many of the shots are filmed on a bare soundstage, giving them a more abstract quality than the actual scenes would have had on location or on a fully dressed set. As screen tests they, they also necessarily lack the full narrative logic reflected in the shooting script. Nonetheless, the contents of many shots correspond more or less to passages in the shooting script.

For our purposes, it is especially revealing how Paradjanov used the screen texts to explore the parameters of his new directorial style. Indeed, many of the distinctive features of The Color of Pomegranates appear already fully fledged in Kyiv Frescoes. Therefore, I will describe some of these stylistic mannerisms in greater detail:

1. Frontally staged tableaux. While Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors did employ a number of tableau shots along with its celebrated camera movements, in Kyiv Frescoes the static camera dominates. Admittedly, the shooting script indicates a number of camera movements (the celebrations on Victory Square called for a helicopter shot, for instance) and by definition the screen tests precluded expensive tracking shots. However, the screen tests reveal the extent to which Paradjanov was consciously developing his tableau aesthetic at the same time. Here the camera’s perspective is not so much a point of view or a window on the world, but a frame for which all the objects within the shot are arranged. Characters often stare directly into the camera, breaking the fourth wall of dramatic illusion that most narrative films strive to maintain. One effect of this is to turn individual shots into self-contained scenes or portraits rather than links in a chain of action.

2. The empty picture frame as a compositional device and decorative motif. Another way in which Paradjanov emphasizes the film image as graphic art is to incorporate actual picture frames into the compositions. In Kyiv Frescoes, the shot of a dead soldier (the war widow’s husband) lying on his back with a gun resting on his chest is bordered by a large gilded frame, thus drawing our attention to the film frame as a frame. (In fact he is visibly breathing as if asleep, a conceit that recurs in The Color of Pomegranates and The Legend of Suram Fortress.) Later, we see a young boy tossing paper airplanes through a gilded frame that swings like a pendulum. Likewise, empty picture frames are repeatedly displayed in Hakob Hovnatanyan. A section of a gilded frame is even used for purely decorative effect in The Color of Pomegranates, most notably during the sequence of Sayat-Nova’s dream. Intriguingly, another visual motif carried over from the screen tests into The Color of Pomegranates occurs in both cases during the Man’s (the director’s) and Sayat-Nova’s respective dreams: characters standing inside frames laid on the ground. In Kyiv Frescoes it is a church patriarch and the director’s son, whereas in The Color of Pomegranates it is King Erekle II.

3. Still life compositions. In Paradjanov’s mature style objects take on a life of their own, often emphasizing their formal qualities at the expense of narrative flow. In Kyiv Frescoes specifically, everyday objects such as a pedal-operated Singer sewing machine or an antique iron are arranged as elements of still life compositions. At the same time that such objects assert their presence, the absence of human figures is reinforced through details such as the pair of empty shoes arranged on the sewing machine pedal. This looks forward to the empty shoes during the bath sequence in The Color of Pomegranates and similar visual motifs.

4. Tripartite compositions within individual shots. In one scene from the screen tests, we see three solders removing their foot wrappings and boots before washing the wooden floor of the Man’s apartment. The nearly identical movements of all three actors anticipates the scenes in The Color of Pomegranates in which we see three monks having their feet washed before they are picked up by other monks and carried over to vats of grapes, or when we see three separate sacrifices of rams performed simultaneously under the arches of the fountain at Haghpat. Besides creating strikingly formalized compositions, this stylistic device serves as a distancing effect to emphasize the aesthetic qualities of movement over dramatic functionalism.

5. Abstraction of the mise-en-scene. Starting with Kyiv Frescoes, Paradjanov often pares down the number of elements present within a shot to the point of abstraction. What would seem on the surface to be question of exigency in Kyiv Frescoes—the use of a bare soundstage—later became a stylistic mannerism in itself, particularly in Hakob Hovnatanyan and The Color of Pomegranates. Thus, for instance, in The Color of Pomegranates the same soundstage, with minor alterations in décor, serves variously as the location for the scenes of Sayat-Nova as a child observing wool-dyeing and carpet-weaving, the brief shot portraying the competition between the young Sayat-Nova and other ashughs, and as Princess Anna’s apartment. Only the minimum number of details necessary to evoke a particular milieu are used; characters or objects are often posed against neutral or white backgrounds. Individual shots also tend to display a limited range of colors.

6. Pantomime and other experiments with actors’ movement. While Paradjanov was hardly the first film director to subordinate the movement of actors to the overall composition—Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible I and II come immediately to mind as possible influences—Kyiv Frescoes is striking for the way he uses the movement of actors as just one of several malleable elements within the overall texture of film. The hieratic gestures and slow, fluid movements of actors, like the stylized tripartite compositions mentioned above, again emphasize the aesthetic qualities of movement. Perhaps the best examples of Paradjanov’s experiments with movement in Kyiv Frescoes are the graceful pantomimes symbolizing the frustrated relationship between the Man and what appears to be his ex-wife (based on the written script). Her pose with the wedding ring and her rueful gaze at the camera specifically anticipate the play of rings between Sayat-Nova and the Princess Anna in The Color of Pomegranates.

7. Editing. It is more difficult to speak about this aspect of Paradjanov’s style in Kyiv Frescoes, insofar as the actual film was never shot. However, it is worth noting the self-contained nature of many of the shots from the screen tests, as is notoriously true with Paradjanov’s subsequent films. One gesture that does seem deliberately thought-out in the screen tests is the series of objects (such as the three parsunas) linked by straight cuts. In addition, in “Fresco No. 2” of the literary scenario, the salvos fired by soldiers marching in Victory Square serve as punctuations between the fragmentary, seemingly random images of life in contemporary Kyiv. As mentioned previously, the structure of the sequence in the literary scenario suggests that Paradjanov may have intended to use the sound of the salvos to mark shot changes, much like the synchronization of bells and other sharp sounds with cuts in The Color of Pomegranates.

Kyiv Frescoes set the stage for Paradjanov’s subsequent films on a more general thematic level as well. On the surface, Kyiv Frescoes and The Color of Pomegranates could hardly be more different in terms of subject matter: the former represents the legacy of World War II and its impact on everyday life in contemporary Kyiv, while the latter is ostensibly the biography of an eighteenth century poet. Nonetheless, together with the overtly autobiographical script Confession, they share an overriding concern with the place of the artist in society and attempt to situate the artist’s perceptions within the world at large.

kiev frescoPrivate associations also abound in Kyiv Frescoes. Svitlana Shcherbatiuk, who had divorced Paradjanov a few years before the film was made, recalled being convinced that he was alluding to their marriage when she saw the screen tests, and it is not difficult to see why (Shcherbatiuk 2000). First, the role of the war widow was to be played by the well-known Latvian actress Vija Artmane; as made up in the screen tests, she bears a strong physical resemblance to the director’s ex-wife. In one scene, we see the Longshoreman run a golden hair through his mouth, perhaps in recollection of the night spent with the museum custodian. This image reappears in the script for Confession, where the film director, once again referred to as “the Man,” finds a golden hair of his ex-wife Svitlana ten years after the divorce (Paradjanov 2001: 125). At another point in the screen tests, the soundtrack employs the popular Debussy prelude The Girl with the Flaxen Hair and we see an erotically tinged dream in which golden tresses are drawn under the Longshoreman’s head while he’s sleeping.

At the same time, the failed relationship between the director and his wife in the script is more overtly autobiographical; Paradjanov even cast his own son, Suren, in the role of the director’s son. At one point, the director runs across a policeman who announces that his wife just gave birth to a baby boy. In a typically Paradjanovian gesture of impulsive generosity, the director promptly pays a call to his ex-wife’s apartment; an unseen figure pushes out an empty baby carriage for him to give to the policeman (Paradjanov 2001: 69-70). Paradjanov and his ex-wife’s real-life son was already several years old by time the script was written, making the unused baby carriage fit within the autobiographical framework. A similarly empty baby carriage appears in the screen tests during the pantomimed scene of the Man and his ex-wife.

To put it mildly, everyone was in a state of shock when the screen tests were shown. One aspect that particularly scandalized many viewers was the appearance of a nude model in one of the shots. At this time, full-frontal nudity was extremely rare in Soviet cinema; Andrei Rublev (1966), one of the few films to use it, would be shelved until the early 1970s. Paradjanov’s radical formal experiments also aroused much concern. Even Sviatoslav Ivanov, the Head of Derzhkino, who was normally very supportive of Paradjanov and remained so up to the time of Paradjanov’s arrest, was sharply critical of the screen tests, perhaps fearing that his credibility with Moscow was on the line if he simply signed off on the production. In a memo dated October 21, 1965 Ivanov complained that the film was “marked” by “[…] a distorted, somewhat pathological perception of reality, a longing to affirm human solitude, to show delirium, spiritual hopelessness.” He went on to write:

Having permitted the conducting of screen tests, the State Committee on Cinematography of the Ukrainian SSR requested maximal clarification of the artistic conception of the future film from Paradjanov, from the entire shooting team and also the directorship of the Dovzhenko Film Studio. The screen tests had to demonstrate the preparedness of the director and the creative team to embody on the screen those human ideals, that image of the modern city and its workers, which, as S. Paradjanov demonstrated, he cannot express on paper, but which he will confirm on the screen. However, the tests, to the point, are almost unconnected to the script materials and are almost, to be frank, denials of any kind of thought, of a realistic image. Gifted actors and a talented cinematographer are engaged in the tests, but the inclination toward purely formal effects weighs on everything (quoted in Korohods'kyi and Shcherbatiuk 1994: 143-44).

Nonetheless, the screen tests were eventually sent to Moscow for evaluation; in a letter to Derzhkino and the Dovzhenko studio dated December 2, 1965, the Head of the Main Administration Yuri Egorov merely confirmed what Ivanov said earlier, though in more diplomatic terms.

The Main Administration of Feature Filmmaking has examined the expanded tests for Kyiv Frescoes, the film by Sergei Paradjanov.

In our opinion, this work, having in essence an experimental character, attests to interesting searches for a distinctive graphic language of filmmaking, in which the plastic expressiveness of pantomime, painting, music, execution of details are organically blended.

However, for the time being it is still difficult to judge on the unity of the entire work, since neither the script nor screen tests examined [by us] (which, incidentally, don’t have a straightforward relationship to the plot of the film) give sufficient basis for it.

The Main Administration considers it advisable to recommend continuing work on the film Kyiv Frescoes. For the successful completion of this work it is essential to assign a man of letters, who understands the intention and style of the director, to work on the shooting script. After completion of work on the script Paradjanov should be granted the possibility to carry out new screen tests, engaging the actors in scenes that take place in the script.[10]

To be sure, many shots in the screen tests do refer to specific scenes in the shooting script: the soldiers removing their boots, tiptoeing about the apartment and washing the floor; the widow, in her wedding dress, gluing strips of gauze to a window (an image from her dream in the middle section of the film); and the pantomime with the Man and his ex-wife, the dismantled piano, the baby carriage and the wedding ring (the specific actions of pantomime may be different here, but the basic idea had already been indicated in the script nonetheless).  However, the radically stylized manner in which they are staged may have distracted the authorities from the scenes’ manifest content.

In spite of these complaints, and perhaps to gauge better the public response to Paradjanov’s proposed approach to the film, the edited screen tests were shown as part of a retrospective of Paradjanov’s work at the Kyiv House of Cinema, with screenings of his early Ukrainian features and documentary shorts, starting on December 3, 1965 and culminating on January 14, 1966 with a screening of The Flower on the Stone and Kyiv Frescoes.[11] Interestingly enough, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors was not included in the program, perhaps because it was already fresh (too fresh?) in the minds of Kyiv film professionals.

Due to the poor overall reception of the screen tests and ongoing concerns about the future direction of the script—and also, it would appear, in response to Moscow’s demands—the novelist and screenwriter Pavlo Zahrebel'nyi (1924–2009) was brought in to help shape Paradjanov’s unruly material into something more logically organized and ideologically sound. Zahrebel'nyi was an obvious choice not only because of his overall stature in the Ukrainian literary scene, but because his writings on World War II, especially the novel Ballad of an Immortal (1957), made him uniquely qualified to bring the screenplay’s treatment of the war in line with official ideology.[12]  Zahrebel'nyi later worked with Paradjanov on Intermezzo, another of Paradjanov’s Ukrainian projects that was never filmed.

On February 5, the studio’s script-editorial board met one last time to discuss the new set of revisions. The young film director Leonid Osyka acknowledged that the script was now put together more logically and that “the complex associations of the author became comprehensible,” but he criticized the dialogue, saying, “[…] all the characters speak with some kind of identical inexpressive language.”[13] He recommended trimming the dialogue down to what was strictly necessary, but on the whole he recommended that the script go forward into the development stage. G. Zeldovich mostly agreed with Osyka, adding: “Already now in the literary version I sense the contours of the future film, a film standing on the positions of socialist realism, a film which will teach people to love one another, to regard each other and the collective with confidence; the authors of the film are teaching us not to forget the heroic past of our country, not to see the environment in an oversimplified perspective.” Mykola Mashchenko, L. Chumakova and V. Denysenko likewise recommended that the script be approved and a new shooting script begun.

A couple of the comments were more critical. Yu. Levin said, “The script evokes a somewhat divided feeling: on the one hand—very brilliant expressive solutions and on the other hand, as it were, quotes from bad popular-science films; this, of course, reduces the significance of the material.” He also complained that the script was “overburdened with visions of the artist and the other characters.” Nonetheless, he still recommended it for approval. V. Sylina said that script seemed “eclectic” because of the latest draft’s shift in focus from the vision of a single character (i.e., the film director) to several characters. She also expressed dissatisfaction with some of the added plot elements: “The widow’s daughter showed up, and the scene in the evening the mother asks the daughter to leave and doesn’t allow her inside surprises with its vulgarity. It’s like a second-rate quote from a trite film.” She concluded her remarks by saying, “In a word, the script’s plot still requires certain corrections.”

Paradjanov responded to their remarks as follows:

I accept the plot outline that Zahrebel'nyi has proposed and I feel that he has done a great job; it seems to me that another author would have written it more crudely and less professionally. That is why, understanding all this, I am deliberately calling Zahrebel'nyi the main author of this script.

Of course, to logically link a poetically associative image track is a very complex and difficult task. And it is natural that some things didn’t turn out. Thus Zahrebel'nyi, for example, removed the relationships between the heroes and family tragedy that are hardly advisable and interesting. It should still be seriously thought through. The historical associations are really not necessary in the script—after all, the plot is laconic, like a chamber play.

Today, I can’t make everyday [bytovoi] cinema—I need a complex associative image track, a film that is complex in its thought and all the time I have been looking agonizingly for the meaning and form of this work. Obviously, the shooting script will be discussed in more detail. I will work on the development stage with such a demanding artist as the cinematographer [Suren] Shakhbazian. We will try to make all the components of the shooting script carefully adjusted and described in detail.

Oleksandr Syzonenko concluded:

In examining the present version of the literary scenario we first of all must reply to the question: whether it has removed the alarm and doubts which the previous version aroused. It seems to me that it has removed them. Zahrebel'nyi has very tactfully gone into this work and was able to do a lot, first and foremost having preserved Paradjanov’s style, [he was able] to build an external plot outline, to logically link individual uncoordinated episodes and pieces. As a result the script became somewhat complicated and this, for its part, will cause an increase in the estimate. Certainly, there are still some plot details, especially dialogue, that demand reinterpretation and clarification, but the script can safely be recommended for development into a shooting script.

Regardless, the project was cancelled not long afterwards. Seeing that his options in Kyiv were limited, Paradjanov accepted an invitation by the Armenfilm studio in Yerevan to make a feature film, which developed into The Color of Pomegranates.

Conclusion

Official concerns about the aesthetics and ideological underpinnings of Kyiv Frescoes may have been sufficient in themselves to sink the project, but they were undoubtedly exacerbated by external political events that happened to coincide with the time frame of the project. It is worth recalling that the arrests of Ukrainian intellectuals and the protest at the screening of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors took place in late August—early September of 1965, less than a month after Egorov’s August 7 letter to Ivanov criticizing how the screenplay represented World War II. In October of the same year, around the  time Paradjanov had completed the screen tests, he and six other signatories wrote a letter to the Central Committees of Ukraine and the Soviet Union inquiring about the fate of several individuals who had recently been arrested, among them the literary critic and translator Ivan Svitlychny (Ukraïns'ka inteligentsiia 1970: 187-88). The trial of Sinyavsky and Daniel took place in February 1966, shortly before the project was cancelled. Lastly, this was at the start of the period when a number of high-profile films were banned or shelved, including: Illienko’s A Well for the Thirsty (1965-66), Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (1966), Konchalovsky’s The Story of Asya Klyachina/Asya’s Happiness (1966-67), Alov and Naumov’s A Nasty Joke (1966) and Askoldov’s The Commissar (1967). Thus, one might count Kyiv Frescoes as another victim of this particular crackdown in the film industry, reflecting the general ideological retrenchment of the Brezhnev era.

In retrospect, Kyiv Frescoes illustrates the dilemma which Paradjanov faced as an experimental (or rather, poetic) filmmaker working within the Soviet system. On the one hand, projects on “significant” topics such as the twentieth anniversary of Kyiv’s liberation from the Germans were actively encouraged by the authorities and helped ensure generous logistical support. On the other hand, the close ideological scrutiny which accompanied these same topics gave Paradjanov little leeway to pursue his aesthetic innovations. While the Great Patriotic War was highly fraught in particular, Paradjanov would run into similar problems with his choice of Sayat-Nova as the subject of The Color of Pomegranates. The cancellation of Kyiv Frescoes surely counted among the most frustrating experiences of his career, but we can be grateful that enough materials survive to give us a sense of the remarkable film that he might have created.

 

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Zaven Sargsyan at the Sergei Parajanov Museum in Yerevan and the late Tetiana Derevianko at the Dovzhenko Film Studio Museum in Kyiv for allowing me to access files related to the film. Svitlana Shcherbatiuk kindly granted an extensive interview during my research trip to Kyiv. Vitaly Chernetsky helped regularize the spelling of Ukrainian proper names and offered useful insights into some of the script’s culturally specific references, which have been incorporated into the endnotes.


Notes

1] Known during the Soviet period as the Kyiv Museum of Western and Oriental Art, the museum has a relatively small but impressive collection of Western European, as well as Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, and Persian art. Founded in 1919, it is based on the private residence and collection of Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko. Velázquez’s portrait of the Infanta Margarita is one of the best-known pieces in the museum. It is also notable for its fine collection of Italian ceramics.

2] My translations here and following (JS).

3] The sudden tense shifts are present in the original Russian here and subsequently.

4] A thick oilcloth used in Russia and the Soviet Union for the making of army boots; this term is usually etymologically linked to “Kersey cloth,” a heavy woolen fabric used to make uniforms, originally made in Kersey, England. (Ed.)

5] Paradjanov’s notion is that the priceless painting is placed in a crate and labeled “fragile” before being buried so it can be easily identified later; by using the term “coffin” he is emphasizing the similarity of this act with a human burial. He may also be suggesting that the scene should be depicted with a certain ritualized quality.

6] Here Paradjanov is probably referring to an obscene gesture signifying sexual intercourse.

7] Kobzars were itinerant Ukrainian bards. The first book by Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s national poet, published in 1840, was titled Kobzar. Since then, editions of Shevchenko’s collected poems usually bear this title. When capitalized, in modern Ukrainian usage the word can refer to Shevchenko himself. Here Paradjanov appears to refer to the Shevchenko monument located in the park between the Khanenko Museum and the main building of Kyiv University, a neoclassical structure unusually painted a deep red color. (Ed.)

8] “Kievskie freski” file, Sergei Paradjanov Museum, Yerevan.

9] “Kievskie freski” file, Sergei Paradjanov Museum, Yerevan.

10] “Kievskie freski” file, Sergei Paradjanov Museum, Yerevan.

11] Paradjanov files of the Dovzhenko Film Studio Museum, Kyiv.  

12] For an overview of Zahrebel'nyi’s career, see Istoriia ukraïns'koï literatury 614-26.

13] “Kievskie freski” file, Sergei Paradjanov Museum, Yerevan.


Works Cited

Antypenko, Oleksandr. “Ego deviz byl—otdavat',” Iskusstvo kino 12 (December 1990).

Istoriia ukraïns'koï literatury v dvokh tomakh, Tom druhyi: Radians'ka literature. Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1988.

Korohods'kyi, R.M., and Svitlana Shcherbatiuk, eds. Serhii Paradzhanov: Zlet, trahediia, vichnist'. Kyiv: Spalakh, 1994.

Paradjanov, Sergei. “Kievskie freski,” Iskusstvo kino 12 (December 1990).

——. Ispoved', ed. Cora Tsereteli (St. Petersburg: Azbuka, 2001).

Shcherbatiuk, Svitlana. Personal interview, Kyiv, Dec. 2000.

Ukraïns'ka inteligentsiia pid sudom KGB. Munich: Suchasnist', 1970.

Updated: 09 Jan 10