(1988, Sergei Parajanov)
ASHIK KERIB is the last completed film by Sergei Parajanov (THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES), an Armenian filmmaker who was imprisoned by the Soviet Union for “incitement to suicide and homosexuality.” Dedicated to the director’s friend Andrei Tarkovsky, this delightful adventure about a poor boy who must spend 1001 days accumulating riches in order to marry a wealthy girl is told through sumptuous tableaus, with colorful characters moving and spinning across the screen in richly decorated costumes, creating the impression of a folk dance musical. At the center of the film is the luminous presence of the beautiful actor Yuri Mgoyan, often speculated to have been the director’s lover. Parajanov, who never denied his homosexuality, was championed by Fellini and Bertolucci, and has been deeply influential on My Barbarian, the LA-based performance and video group, in large part because of the director’s “ability to imbue depictions of folk cultural forms with a queer sensibility and magical eroticism in the face of Soviet power.” Join us for a rare screening of this magical film, and a provocative discussion with My Barbarian’s Alex Segade and Malik Gaines!
Screened: March 18, 2013