Trivial Top 20: Best Fiction Films About Real Writers


— Film Comment (Nov/Dec 2014)

Unproduced and Unfinished Films: An Ongoing Film Comment project

The Demon (Sergei Parajanov)

Based on the long 17th-century poem “Demon” by Mikhail Lermontov. The once-banned poem praises the eternal spirit of atheism.

— Film Comment (May/June 2012)

“…and, in 1964, the Armenian director Sergei Parajanov, who studied with Dovzhenko, made his early masterwork “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”, which screened at the New York Film Festival in 1966 and heralded a new style of ecstatic cinema. It’s a love story of stark intensity and mythological hyperbole, set in a remote Carpathian village dominated by distinctive traditions and by religious devotion. There, a young man’s forbidden romance turns tragic—after the death of the woman he loves, he marries another woman, whose life becomes haunted by her predecessor’s spirit and memory. Parajanov films the story with frenzied camera work, full-throated shouting, and chanting, hypnotic musical sequences, and a phantasmagorical whirl of color and imagery in which the untamed depths of cultural history exert their irresistible power.”

— Richard Brody

“…Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a film which even now stands apart not only from the director’s own corpus, but from Czech filmmaking at large. Looking elsewhere, one may note the influence of the New American avant-garde or, more visibly, the work of Armenian director Sergei Parajanov, who himself had released the similarly evocative, intuitively constructed The Color of Pomegranates the year prior. But Jireš isn’t a formalist in the fashion of Parajanov or the then-emerging structuralists.”

— Jordan Cronk

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