“Here” movie screened at Sundance Fest, Kohar Carpet on display at Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Review of January 17-23 cultural events.

Over the past week, cultural life in Armenia and abroad featured a number spectacular events.

PanARMENIAN.Net - On the Dance/Club Play Songs chart released on Billboard.com on Jan. 20, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," the song of the U.S pop-singer of Armenian origin, Cher, reached No. 1, making the leading lady the only act to have notched a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in each of the last six decades.

Al Pacino won a Golden Globe for best actor in a mini-series or television movie during the 68th Golden Globe Awards for the role of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the HBO Films biopic entitled “You Don’t Know Jack,” a doctor who helps people with assisted suicide.

Here, American movie filmed in Armenia and Karabakh, was included into competition program of Sundance 2011 film festival. Described as a European flavored, romantic road-trip drama, “Here” is the latest effort from filmmaker and music video director Braden King. The film stars Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal (who stars in Canada’s Best Foreign Film Oscar contender “Incendies”) as Will and Gadarine, two photographers who meet by chance in Armenia and decide to continue on their journey together, forging an instant bond. The film is not just a love story on the road as the ambitious production also boasts five interludes, helmed by five different directors (including King), that blur the line between film and documentary, movie and dream. In all, it weaves a lovely, dreamlike tapestry around a tale of solitary people who temporarily find a deep connection.

The world's most important Armenian rug, the Kohar Carpet, is currently on display at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This rug, made in either 1680 or 1700 (the exact date is unclear) is a bridge between the medieval Dragon Rugs and the modern rug tradition. The inscription in medieval Armenian on the carpet reads "I Kohar (Jewel), full of sin and weak of soul, with my newly learned hands wove this rug. Whosoever reads this say a word of mercy to God for me". This unique rug first appeared in London in 1899, as Turkish loot stolen from an Armenian church during the 1894-96 massacres. It was exhibited and documented, and then disappeared into a private collection for decades until 1977 when reemerged and was then showcased in 1985 in the traveling exhibit "Weavers, Merchants, and Kings: The Armenian Carpet", which was the first major exhibit of Armenian Rugs in the West. It is now again in a private collection.

Border, documentary by well-known Armenian filmmaker Harutyun Khachatryan was broadcast on Kultura Russian TV channel during Movie Cult with Kirill Razlogov program. Border tells the accidental story of a buffalo, pulled out of a swamp and taken to a farm where refugees tend herds of goats and cattle, using the animals for cheese and meat. The plot traces a loosely circular trajectory, moving from the discovery of the buffalo in the midst of fields where background structures smoke and grasses kindle to the apparent loss of the buffalo’s life following the burning of a barn on the refugee farm that is the main setting of the film.

Moscow hosted presentation of the official website (www.prervannaya-pesnya.ru) of the first feature film about the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations – “Interrupted Song”. The event brought together 50 representatives of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Moscow. The site consists of 6 sections presenting detailed information on the project and its authors. The section “Karabakh conflict” tells about the conflict history. Meanwhile, both positive articles about the film in media and references to scandalous publications of the Azerbaijani media are placed in the “Media about us” section. Since its launch, the website has been visited by 25000 people within two days. On January 19 night the website was attacked by Azerbaijani hackers. As a result, all visitors were automatically readdressed into the sites with anti-Armenian content. The website was restored in a short period of time.

It was announced that Yerevan’s Sports and Concert Complex will host Junior Eurovision 2011 on December 3. As the head of Eurovision 2011 Armenian Delegation Gohar Gasparyan told a news conference in Yerevan, the event will help increase the world’s awareness of Armenia. “The Swiss expert seemed impressed with conditions we offered,” she noted.

Lilit Harutyunyan / PanARMENIAN News
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