“My dear friend (Vartanov)… should you like the (screenplay) Desert, together we could make a masterpiece…”
—Artavazd Peleshian (1984)
Artavazd Peleshyan’s Seasons of the Year (1975), a film-essay about the contradiction and the harmony between man and nature, was the the 2nd and the last collaboration with Mikhail Vartanov, who had directed Autumn Pastoral (1971) from Peleshian’s screenplay. In the Seasons of the Year (1975), for the first time, Artavazd Pelechian did not use any archival footage thanks to Vartanov’s exquisite cinematography and his wizardry in the lab. The film was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), the Venice International Film Festival La Biennale, TIFF and the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam IDFA.
Peleshian’s Seasons of the Year (1975) is one of the 3 most important documentary films made in Armenia, along with Sergei Parajanov‘s Hakop Hovnatanian (1967) and Vartanov‘s Paradjanov: The Last Spring (1992). Seasons of the Year (1975) was voted by BFI British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound among the Greatest Films of All Time as well as the separate poll of the Greatest Documentaries of All Time.
The crew of the 30 minute black and white documentary, also known as Four Seasons, Seasons of the Year, Tarva Yeghanakner, Времена года, Vremena Goda, and Seasons, reportedly included Tigran Mansurian (Mansuryan), who had worked with Parajanov, Vartanov and Peleshian.
The creator of the “distance montage,” Artavazd Peleshian (Артавазд Пелешян, Արտավազդ Փելեշյան), one of the key Soviet documentarians, removed the boundaries of feature and documentary films, editing both sequences as a real poetical unity – it was a new step in the development of film editing. Even Peleshian’s student work The Earth of the People (1966) and The Begining (1967) shot at VGIK, the world’s oldest film school in Moscow, were awarded numerous prizes and he gained recognition among filmmakers, such as Jean-Luc Godard. Artavazd Pelechian is the author of a range of theoretical works, including his 1988 book “Moyo kino” (“My Cinema”).
Artavazd Ashoti (Ashotovich) Peleshyan (Peleshian, Peleshian, Pelešjan) was born on the 22nd of February, 1938 in Leninakan, Armenia, Soviet Union (USSR). Peleshian studied at the legendary Russian film school VGIK from 1963 to 1968 and now lives in both Armenian capital Yerevan and Russian capital Moscow.
ARTAVAZD PELESHIAN (ARTUR PELECHIAN) FILMOGRAPHY:
MOUNTAIN VIGIL (1964)
About the struggle of man’s will and muscles against nature, about the rock-climbers who prevent landslides and eliminate their consequences. Director Artavazd Peleshian. (10 min)
THE EARTH OF THE PEOPLE (1966)
Praises human life and work, the everlasting beauty and expression of human thought. Directed by Artvazd Pelechian. Black and White (10 min)
THE BEGINNING (1967)
Philosophical essay about the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, its influence on the destiny of the world in the 20th century. Director Artavazd Peleshian. Black and White
Explores the identity and fate of the Armenian nation. Directed by Artavazd Pelechian. Black and White (30 min).
Artavazd Pelechian’s perception of the inhabitants of the Earth. (10 min).
SEASONS OF THE YEAR (1975)
Artavazd Peleshian’s outstanding look at the co-existence of nature and people, lensed in black and white by Mikhail Vartanov. Music: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Armenian folk. (30 min).
OUR CENTURY (1983)
In Artavazd Peleshian’s first film in 8 years, a man paves his own way to his own soul through an intellectual quest, tragedies of nations and personal drama. The road moving through the cosmic distances is a flight into one’s internal world. This flight and this drama are revealed in this philosophical film-poem. Artavazd Peleshian’s longest film. (47 min).
LIFE (1992/1993) (color)
About the beginning of life from labor pains and birth and about its symbolic meaning. Artavazd Peleshian’s first color picture (7 min).
Artavazd Peleshyan returned to black and white in this documentary. (10 min)
LA NATURE (2021)
Pelechian’s first film about nature since his masterpiece Four Seasons (1975) — where for the first time he’d used no archive footage in favor of the exquisite cinematography by the late Mikhail Vartanov — La Nature marks Peleshian’s return to the use of archival and found footage to depict his favorite subject.