Forgotten Art: Soviet Era Armenian Movie Posters

'Chaos' (1974) By Karapet Eranyan   Though its glory days have faded into non-existence, Armenia cinema was once a robust, flourishing industry that began in the 1920s with the opening of Armenian film studio, “Haykino,” or “Armenkino” in Yerevan.   One fascinating byproduct of this almost 100-year history are the film posters designed by Armenian artists. They are a testament to the rich, cultural, cinematic heritage that once flourished in Soviet Armenia. Throughout the years following Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union however, many of these cultural artifacts were destroyed and others lost forever. The film department of the Eghishe Charents Museum of Literature and Art in Yerevan, perhaps the largest repository of Armenian manuscripts and books of the last 300 years, saved a small sample.    In 2006, filmmaker Vigen Galstyan returned to his native Armenia from Australia to complete his feature length documentary, “White Crow” and assemble 121 of these film posters, the last remaining treasures from Armenia’s filming legacy that are now long forgotten.   “It is time we open our eyes, before the destructive habits of ignorance and the process of modernization and progress claim the invaluable vestiges of Armenian cultural heritage,” he writes in the introduction of his book.    The posters presented here, all designed by Armenian artists of their time, are from this saved collection and Galstyan’s book.    They include the poster art for films such as “About my Friend,” which focuses on the life of three friends named Aram, Ruben and Gohar who go to Leningrad to study just as WWII begins and “The Thirteenth Apostle,” based on science fiction writer Ray Bradbury’s stories, about the moral limits that science should not overstep. They were screen written, directed, edited and managed by film industry professionals in and from Armenia.     'Hello, it's me' (1965)By Karapet Eranyan     'A piece of the sky' (1980) By Rafael Babayan      'Die on the horse' (1980)By Karine Miskaryan   'Strange games' (1986)By Aragast Akhoyan   'The Thirteenth Apostle' (1988) By Hrant Komitasyan   '5 Brides' (1930)By Sargis Safaryan     'Another five days' (1978)By Karapet Eranyan     'About my friend' (1958)By Karapet Eranyan   'Why does the river roar' (1958)By Karapet Eranyan      (IMAGES POSTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR. PLEASE SHARE, DO NOT STEAL)