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Full review on my blog max4movies: Ambavi Suramis tsikhitsa (international title: The Legend of Suram Fortress) is the fictionalized retelling of an ancient Georgian tale about a fortress that could only be built with a human sacrifice. Visually, the movie looks wonderful with vibrant colors, perfectly arranged set pieces, and a striking choreography. And while the plot remains mostly simple and central aspects and characters even seem obscure, the heavy use of symbols give the movie a dreamlike quality. Certain scenes – although aesthetically pleasing – seem to lack a clear connection to the plot, which is why the overall allegory about political oppression will remain vague for some viewers.
So beautiful, although it wasn't always easy to follow the storyline. But I just let myself absorb its wondrous colors (and followed the story by reading up on it a little as it went)
Once again Parajanov is inviting us into a world of images, colors and sounds from another culture of the Caucasus. After 15 years away from the film world for various political reasons, the poet/director is taking us on a new journey through history, traditions and time. The film is gorgeous to look at but somehow not as inviting as his previous ventures. It's an interesting film, very well shot and highly original In its narration but I didn't get sucked into the film as much as with Sayat-Nova.
Still, as a pure curious artistic object, the film deserves a viewing.
This film is quite visually stunning. I love the clothing, textiles, traditional dances, the folklore, and the music. I would love to have a soundtrack for this film.
A female serf is spurned by her lover, becomes a fortune teller, and tells the czar how he can rebuild the eternally crumbling Suram fortress. Extremely stylized retelling of a Georgian folktale full of visual poetry and mystical interludes; fans of Alejandro Jodorowsky should appreciate it.
Sergei Parajanov's The Legend of Suram Fortress is based on a Georgian folk tale which tells the story of the a freed slave named Durmishkhan. But his lover, Vardo is not free yet, and he has to come up with the money to free her. On his way he meets a merchant named Osman Agha who tells his story of how he killed his master after the master killed his mother. and then how he join a group of merchant which made Osman convert to Islam. Durmishkhan joins Osman and self becomes a merchant and also converts to Islam. He also forget all about his lover and gets marries and they have a son, while Osman on the other hand wants to go back to Christianity. But at the same time, the christian Georgians are in threat of an Muslim invasion from south. The only way to they can defend themselves is to rebuild the impenetrable Suram Fortress. They ask Durmishkhan's former lover, Vardo who's now a fortuneteller. And they ask how it shall be build. As she replies "by the people".
The Legend of the Suram Fortress is as great and mystical as Parajanov's previous films. Not as surreal as Sayat Nova, nor is it as beautiful as Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. But what's never hits wrong is Parajanov's films is it's dreamy, ancient and cultural feeling. Diving into an unknown world that we know so little of. Like follow a rabbit down a hole, and discover all kinds of different landscapes, different cultures, their clothes and their customs. There's a lot of great religious symbols of biblical proportions that gives us the right reverence that I which that more film makers would use, in contrary Parajanov once said: "The once who tries to imitate me would be lost". But I did have some problems with the Length. Some times it wasn't very clear what their mission where nor what's at stake. And it also destroys the illusion when the characters is on a harbor where we in the background see present day tank ships. Does that makes this film a meta film, what kind of reality is this? Or is this just a result of a strict budget. I don't let that one effect my view. I liked this movie, but not as much as Parajanov's previous work, but it certainly works. Thumbs up.
Steeped in religion and myth, the film is nevertheless bogged down by scenes and passages that are either narrative non-sequiturs or symbolic dead-ends.
There are no words to describe Parajanov's vision. Extraordinary film! The story is simple, but Parajanov's artistic talent makes it into a masterpiece. It is hard to believe, how a person can be so creative. Stunning!
I'm normally fairly tolerant of foreign films but this one was apallingly hard going. It's less of a formal film and more of a Soviet-Collective student drama - one where the vodka flowed about as freely as the plot.
Tell you what, there's no more entertaining way to spend a Monday evening than taking in some Georgian cinema. Paradjanov's first film after his release from a Soviet gulag after imprisonment on some pretty spurious charges takes Georgian folklore and gives it his own inimitable spin. It looks like nothing you've ever seen before; less cinema, more conceptual art. The narrative is fractured, the editing inconsistent, but the images from this film won't be easily forgotten.