William Saroyan’s 100 anniversary

Back 18 June 2008 16:50
William Saroyan’s 100 anniversary This year "Golden Apricot" film festival dedicates one of its anniversary programs to William Saroyan’s 100 anniversary.
Starting creatively working at the Hollywood Golden Age, the American Armenian prominent writer had some cooperation with the film art. William Saroyan’s works have always been the focus of the interest of the directors, thus there are 15 films based on his works. William Saroyan was also a film critic and even a film director.
At the end of 1941 MGM director Lewis B. Meyer addressed Saroyan suggesting to write a film script, which would morally support Americans suffering the anxiety and tension as a result of the war against Japan. Within a short period of time, Saroyan wrote “The Human Comedy” script. Lewis Meyer bought the rights for 60,000 US dollars, which was a fabulous sum of money for that time. Saroyan was convinced that he would be the film director, but Meyer refused, arguing that he had never filmed a film. Saroyan insisted on an opportunity, suggesting to be provided with three days and corresponding equipment and three days later Saroyan presented Meyer a completely new script, based on which the “Good Job” short film was filmed.
Nevertheless Lewis B. Meyer refused to allow Saroyan to film “The Human Comedy”, giving that opportunity to director Clarence Brown. After a while Saroyan wrote his probably the most famous novel “ The Human Comedy” based on the same script. The book was issued in 1943. By an irony of fate, Saroyan was awarded Oscar for the best script in 1943.
Within the frameworks of the Golden Apricot Film Festival, for the first time the Armenian audience will have the opportunity to watch three films filmed in Hollywood in 1940-ies based on William Saroyan’s works as well as the short film “Good Job” filmed by Saroyan. The Golden Apricot will present 15 feature and animation films including the ones mentioned, which are based on Saroyan’s works and filmed by Armenian and Russian filmmakers in different years.
Within the frameworks of the Golden Apricot Festival Tigran Guyumchyan, South California University professor will present Saroyan’s films and deliver a lecture on his relations with the film art.
The presentation of Artsvi Bakhchinyan’s book Four visions: Saroyan and Hollywood actors will take place within the framework of the Festival. It includes essays about four famous Hollywood actresses: Lillian Gish, Greta Garbo, Miriam Hopkins, Marilyn Monroe written by Saroyan, which are presented in the original, translated into Armenian and Russian.
The Golden Apricot Film Festival is conducted with the support of RA Ministry of Culture.
The general sponsor of the Festival is VivaCell.
Moscow Cinema
 Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation
Festival Coverage