Sovetakan grokh (Grogh), Armenia, 1988. 8vo. Original hardcover with dustjacket. 255 pages. Text in Russian. Illustrated. Well preserved
First edition – INSCRIBED by Peleshian to Danish film director and critic Chr. Braad Thomsen, dated 1990
Artavazd Peleshyan (Artavazd (Art’ur) P’eleshyan; also Pelechian, Peleshian, b.1938) is an Armenian director of essay films, a documentarian in the history of film art, a screenwriter, and a film theorist. He is renowned for developing a style of cinematographic perspective known as distance montage, combining perception of depth with oncoming entities, such as running packs of antelope or hordes of humans. Filmmaker Sergei Parajanov has referred to Peleshyan as “one of the few authentic geniuses in the world of cinema”. The first of Pelechian’s films to be screened in the West, “We” (1969) was shown at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in Germany, where it received first prize from the jury. His practice of cinematic montage escapes the classical rules of montage, developed by the film pioneers of the early decades of the 20th century, in particular, Sergei Eisenstein in the USSR, Georges Méliès in France, and D.W. Griffith in the United States. Whereas classical montage tended to place two images next to each other that are together of significance, Pelechian to the contrary strives to distance them, placing other images and sounds in between in order to emphasize the echo they have with each other. Distance montage thus structures itself by playing with repetitions and subtle variations in visual and sound motifs. He presents this scrupulous montage method in a famous theoretical text, “Contrapuntal Montage, or the Theory of Distance,” written at the beginning of the 1970s and published in a collection of texts published in Russian under the title Moyo Kino [My cinema] in 1988.”- “A Pelechian film is constructed like a rosary, with a larger bead periodically separating series of smaller beads. The larger beads are the “support sequences,” and the smaller ones, distributed between them, are the “independent sequences”. There are a limited number of support sequences—two, three, four. They contain few shots, and consistently use select shots from previous support sequences. They function as a chorus. Between them, the independent sequences, sometimes reduced to a single shot, are subject to widely varied combinations of which the general rule is quickness allied with repetition.” – Barthélemy Amengual, “Sur Cinq Films d’Artavazd Pelechian” [On five films by Artavazd Pelechian], in Cahiers de la Cinémathèque, no. 67/68, December 1997.