Mikael Vardanov

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Mikhail Vartanov (Russian: Михаил Вартанов) was born February 21, 1937 to Armenian parents in RSFSR, Chechnya, now Russian Federation. Graduated from Russian state film school VGIK in 1966. Began his documentary oeuvre with the wordless The Color of Armenian Land (1969) featuring the world famous behind-the-scenes episodes of Sergei Parajanov's landmark Sayat Nova (1968). Vartanov's correspondence with the imprisoned Parajanov and the outspoken criticism of Armenia's corrupt film industry resulted in a blacklist shortly thereafter. Vartanov's films and screenplays were suppressed, unmentioned by press and blocked from submission to foreign film festivals. In those years, Vartanov exquisitely lensed Artavazd Peleshian's classic Seasons of the Year (1975) and Gennadi Melkonian's hit The Mulberry Tree (1979). In the 1980s, Vartanov's writings were translated into several languages and published worldwide including the prestigeous Cahiers du Cinéma in Paris. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, Vartanov directed the trilogy Erased Faces (1987), Minas: A Requiem (1989) and his masterpiece Parajanov: The Last Spring (1992). The following decade, Vartanov spent conducting film and photo experiments in his Hollywood apartment to be seen in Erased Faces II by Martin Vartanov with whom he is producing Evrika, a film based on the method they call "direction of undirected action." Vartanov's films produced from 1960s to 1989 have not been shown to the general public and still remain in the archives in Armenia.

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