7.8/10
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Beginning (1967)

Skizbe (original title)
| Short, Documentary
Philosophical essay about the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, its influence on the destiny of the world in the 20th century.

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End (1994)
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

People's struggle through Soviet mechanisation period. The film starts with homage to Peleshian's Armenian roots.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
Four Seasons (1975)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The last collaboration of Artavazd Peleshian and cinematographer Mikhail Vartanov is a film-essay about Armenia's shepherds, about the contradiction and the harmony between man and nature, scored to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
Life (1993)
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Poetic essay about the beginning of life from labor pains and birth and about its symbolic meaning.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
Ménilmontant (1926)
Short | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.

Director: Dimitri Kirsanoff
Stars: Nadia Sibirskaïa, Yolande Beaulieu, Guy Belmont
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around... See full summary »

Director: Sergei Parajanov
Stars: Ivan Mykolaichuk, Larisa Kadochnikova, Tatyana Bestayeva
Inhabitants (1970)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Facing the enemy of the people, Soviet states unite to later discover they had been directed by the party. Rebirth comes peacefully at first, but it turns into a recurring destiny. Told in animal allegory.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
We (1969)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Monumental picture exploring the identity and fate of the Armenian nation.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
Zemlya lyudey (1966)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Essay praising human life and work, the everlasting beauty and expression of human thought.

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
Our Century (1983)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Artavazd Peleshian
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Poetic film 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Directors: Lev Kulidzhanov, Artavazd Peleshian
Breakaway (1966)
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Bruce Conner
Stars: Toni Basil
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Feliks Dzierzynski ...
Himself (pays his respects to Lenin) (archive footage) (uncredited)
...
Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sergo Ordzhonikidze ...
Himself (pays his respects to Lenin) (archive footage) (uncredited)
...
Himself (carries coffin of Lenin) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Kliment Voroshilov ...
Himself (pays his respects to Lenin) (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Philosophical essay about the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, its influence on the destiny of the world in the 20th century.

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Short | Documentary

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Edited into Siberiade (1979) See more »

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Cutting Eye: the films of Artavazd Peleshian
2 February 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is a review of a collection of Artavazd Peleshian's works: Earth of People (1966), Beginning (1967), We (1969), Inhabitants (1970), Our Century (1983), Life (1993).

I was directed to this man, who Sergei Parajanov called 'one of the few authentic geniuses of cinema', by a friend who knows my tastes and on the basis of my strong affinity for Soviet montage. Now all those people - Eisenstein, Kuleshov, Vertov, etc - by the time sound rolled in were scattered to the four winds by Stalin and the censors. At least this revolution was prematurely brought to a halt, in my estimation the most defining and important in the first half of cinema and possibly to this day. The most experimental work in this field was never really allowed to blossom. What we got in these 10 years was enough to change the way we see.

Now my notion of Soviet montage is simple: a world that is animated in full rigor and solely by the impulse to see. Story in this mode is not our reason to see but rather the tumultuous after-effect of being engaged to do so. It emerges but only as we edit and synthesize continuously shifting glimpses into one.

Enter this guy, who came to the scene a few decades later and was allowed to work unobstructed and in complete anonymity. No doubt he has intimately studied all these past masters but above all feels a kinship to Dziga Vertov. Outwards his movies are composed symphonically, as paeans, with every intersecting set of images - about work, war, nature, or mundane life - annotating the impulse to reveal overarching destinies.

Now you may be told that Beginning celebrates the Revolution or We the fate and place of the Armenian people, but that goes against the grain and soul of the work. Leave that for commentarians. No, this is specifically designed to be open enough to complete you and some part you lacked the images for. You will know this as about your strife, perhaps internal. Your fate and place in the world at large.

This is important to note: every pull of the cinematic eye in any direction, say suddenly a set of images about conflict or animals being tugged away, is a pull into blank narrative space. You fill from experience. The threads disperse again and intersect.

Now all of these are worth at least one watch for just the consummate craft on display. For just the eloquence of images and the talent to edit, equalled only by a few. I have been playing and re-playing these on and off for about a week now. But if there's one that you absolutely have to watch before you die, that is Our Century. It is a 2001 but with none of Kubrick's vaingloriously Roman touch. Scratch that, its film cousin is Solyaris: a vast space odyssey mapping inwards, conflating every tragic, manic, ludicrous, funny, anxious, insane, desperate, poetic contraption of humankind to grow wings and fly into a swirling evocation of the soul's primal desire to soar.

This is one to keep and this man worth getting to know.


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