The much-anticipated screening of “Vahé Oshagan: Between Acts,” a film by Hrayr Anmahouni will take place on Tuesday, October 24, at 7 p.m. at the Glendale Downtown Library. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with UCLA professor Hagop Kouloujian and Taline Voskeritchian, a professor at Boston University and the American University of Armenia. The program will be introduced and moderated by Professor Peter Cowe, the Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Studies at UCLA.
“Vahé Oshagan: Between Acts” is a literary biography of the pre-eminent writer and intellectual of the modern Armenian diaspora.
The film infuses the traditional documentary with visual, sound-text, and scholarly interpretations of Oshagan’s poetry and prose. It features readings and commentary by Oshagan of his own poetry, as well as analyses by well-known literary critics Krikor Beledian, Krikor Chahinian, Marc Nichanian; and electronic compositions by Ohannes Salibian.
Originally commissioned in 1994 by the Hamazkayin Cultural Association, Western Region, US. It was part of the cultural events celebrating Oshagan’s fiftieth jubilee that took place worldwide in 1994-1995.
Since then, several changes and additions have been made to the original. The upscaling and English subtitles of this final version have been made possible through generous grants from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Hamazkayin Educational & Cultural Association.
This landmark documentary shows clearly how Oshagan’s work ranges from the gritty realm of the quotidian to the urgent world of politics to the existential questions that animate living and dying. As Oshagan says, reading his own work toward the end of the film: “squatting under the mossy, thick fences of chaos having understood nothing, unable to move or to stay there and not even return…”
“’Vahé Oshagan: Between Acts’ leaves us as viewers with dirt stuck in our soles, longing lodged in our hearts, and politics pressing on our limbs,” said David Kazanjian Professor of English Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory University of Pennsylvania “This is everything an intellectual might want in a biography, and simultaneously everything one might want in a biography of an intellectual. It offers a genuine sense of Vahe Oshagan’s work, from his own readings to the major critical thinkers and their perspectives on his oeuvre.
“Simultaneously accessible to any viewer and rich enough for any scholar, this film is the definitive audiovisual work on Oshagan and a model for would-be film biographers,” said Anahid Kassabian, Aslop Professor Emerita, University of Liverpool Sound, Music and Film Scholar.
“A truly unique film about one of the most radical diasporan Armenian poets of the 20th century,” said Arto Vaun, Senior Lecturer Director, Center for Creative Writing English & Communications Dept. American University of Armenia.