A film version of a well-known Georgian folk-tale. A young boy has to be immured into the walls of a fortress in order to stop it from crumbling to pieces. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
Parajanov -- an inspiration to other creative artists
SURAM FORTRESS has a bit more narrative than some of Parajanov's films but, as with the others, I still don't always understand what's going on or why. Still, his very eccentricity, breaking every rule of narrative and filmmaking, inspires me in my own work as a playwright and composer.
His use of striking, associative images -- powerful, even when they don't make literal sense -- recalls the great Tarkovsky, who does something similar in his films, in his own very personal style.
Parajanov, like Bresson -- another director who can fascinate and baffle me at the same time -- does everything differently from the way it's usually done, infuriating viewers expecting believable characters and comprehensible stories. With both directors, the results can be uneven, but at their best, they really inspire, stimulate, and get your creative juices flowing.
Bresson, Tarkovsky, and Parajanov prove you can truly try ANYTHING while following your own artistic vision. But, unlike some overpraised fraudulent directors, they are never pretentiously avant- garde for its own sake, phony, insincere, or "different" just to come across as cool, perverse, or faux-profound.
Parajanov and Bresson's boldly individual styles embolden me to be fresher, more original, and think outside of the box in my own work.
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