AUTUMN PASTORAL (1971)
The screenplay of the Autumn Pastoral (1971) was written by Artavazd Peleshian for Armenfilm studio in Armenia. Mikhail Vartanov wrote the usual “director’s scenario” and composer Tigran Mansuryan improvised and recorded the score on the spot by looking at the final cut of Autumn Pastoral, which, like The Color of the Armenian Land contains no dialogue. The film was shelved by the censors who ruled that the “poorly dressed villagers were embarrassing.”
Four years later Peleshian invited Vartanov to be the cinematographer of the Seasons of the Year (1975). The authorities were displeased (Vartanov had just been fired from the film studio for his campaign to release Sergei Parajanov from the prison) but after many petitions the shooting got approved at Armenia’s TV studio.
Autumn Pastoral (1971) and Seasons of the Year (1975) explored the same theme of life of the shepherds in the mountains of Armenia. The fascinating differences are that Peleshian chose black and white and applied his editing method or “distance montage” while Vartanov selected color and his own method, the the direction of undirected action.