Parajanov through the Eyes of a Cinematographer
17.07.2014
11:00
Parajanov’s shots are not merely chronicles. They have art value because they are paintings full of symbols and metaphors.

Today at the Media Center hosted press conference such an opinion was stated by Ukrainian cinematographer and photographer Yuri Harmash. The speaker is in Yerevan to participate in the photo exhibition devoted to Parajanov within the framework of the 11th Golden Apricot.

‘I first met Parajanov in 1969 and that very first meeting and following ones have really become a lesson of kindness for me,’ mentioned Harmash, adding that his friendship with Parajanov is a life-long lesson for him.

‘It was very easy, pleasant and interesting to photograph Parajanov,’ said Harmash and added that Parajanov was the director of all his photos since Parajanov himself decided how, where, what pose and mise en scene he should be photographed in.

The world known Ukrainian director summarized all his memories of Parajanov in a novel ‘Non-Literature Memories of a Cinematographer.’ Harmash recalled some scenes of his meetings with Parajanov, as well as other amusing stories connected with Parajanov. For example, he told the story of Parajanov’s meeting with former French President Charlesde Gaulle’s wife after the screening of the movie ‘Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors’. The representatives of special agencies warned Parajanov not to do any sort of pranks. However, Parajanov would not be Parajanov if he had not invented something interesting. He arranged for the electricity and elevator of the apartment block in Kiev where he lived to be cut off. Moreover, he decorated the staircase up to the 7th floor with special huge wedding candles ordered from Ukraine and rose petals. This is the craziness Parajanov met Charles de Gaulle’s wife with.

Alongside with the admiration for Parajanov’s Museum in Yerevan, Yuri Harmash expressed regret that there are not museums of Parajanov in either Ukraine or Georgia.

Yuri Harmash is also a great patriot. With respect to the recent events in Ukraine, Harmash said he took over 5000 photographs in Maydan seeking to reveal the national spirit of the Ukrainians. It was during these days that he met Sergey Nigoyan, a Ukrainian of Armenian descent, and made photos a month before Nigoyan’s death.

‘I did not manage to give the photos to Nigoyan but it is my duty to prepare his portrait and give to Nigoyan’s parents,’ stated Harmash, adding that Sergey was a true defender of Ukraine.

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