Monday 5 December 2011

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

On Wednesday 30th November 2011 I made my way to Norwich Arts Centre for the showing of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors with A Hawk And A Hacksaw playing a rescore of the soundtrack. This was a special show only being played at this beautiful Norwich venue along with The Barbican and All Tomorrow's Parties Festival.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is the first major work by the legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Parajadnov. Hailed as a genius by the likes of Fellini, Antonioni and Tarkovsky, his films are as allegorical and mysterious as Byzantine frescos, each a beautiful riot of small movements within his almost always static frames.

For us lucky enough to be at Norwich Arts Centre it was a night to be taken to another world. The film is the story of a young Ukrainian peasant who marries the daughter of his father’s killer, loses her, falls into a long spiral of sadness and then remarries again, with tragic results. Paradjanov enriches the tale with occult imagery, swooping camerawork and a wide tableaux of breathtaking landscapes.

A Hawk And A Hacksaw the folk duo from New Mexico were brilliant on the night with their wonderful music making the perfect complement for this epic story. This was a unique evening that will be long remembered by the audience who showed their appreciation at the end with warm and loud applause.

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