7.7/10
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The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

Sayat Nova (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 27 January 1982 (France)
A super-stylized, surreal biography of Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova, whose life is depicted through non-narrative amalgamations of poetic images.

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Writers:

(poems),
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Poet as a Youth / Poet's Love / Poet's Muse / Mime / Angel of Resurrection
Melkon Alekyan ...
Poet as a child (as M. Alekyan)
Vilen Galstyan ...
Poet in the cloister
Gogi Gegechkori ...
Poet as an old man (as Giorgi Gegechkori)
Spartak Bagashvili ...
Poet's father
Medea Japaridze ...
Poet's mother
Hovhannes Minasyan ...
Prince
Onik Minasyan ...
Prince
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuri Amiryan
I. Babayan
Medea Bibileishvili
T. Dvali
Aleksandr Dzhanshiyev ...
Monk
Guranda Gabunia
Zh. Gharibyan
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Storyline

One of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century, Sergei Parajanov's "Color of the Pomegranate," a biography of the Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova (King of Song) reveals the poet's life more through his poetry than a conventional narration of important events in Sayat Nova's life. We see the poet grow up, fall in love, enter a monastery and die, but these incidents are depicted in the context of what are images from Sergei Parajanov's imagination and Sayat Nova's poems, poems that are seen and rarely heard. Sofiko Chiaureli plays 6 roles, both male and female, and Sergei Parajanov writes, directs, edits, choreographs, works on costumes, design and decor and virtually every aspect of this revolutionary work void of any dialog or camera movement. Written by PARAJANOV.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Besides the film language of Griffith & Eisenstein cinema hasn't discovered anything revolutionary new until The Color of Pomegranates - Mikhail Vartanov


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

27 January 1982 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Red Pomegranate  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shown at the 1980 New York Film Festival without English subtitles (However for later release subtitles were added.) 34 years later, the masterpiece returned to the New York Film Festival, and was introduced by Martin Scorsese who moments earlier accepted the 2014 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award - named after Sergei Parajanov and Mikhail Vartanov - on behalf of the Film Foundation for the restoration of The Color of Pomegranates (1969). See more »

Quotes

Poet as a Youth: In this healthy and beautiful life my share has been nothing but suffering. Why has it been given to me?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Tsvet armyanskoy zemli (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beauty, overcoming Time
2 September 2007 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

Almost everybody talks about the film's beauty and the difficulty of its understanding. It's true. But the difficulty is not from the director's pretension or other shortcomings.

When this film was first released in Soviet Union, it was shown in third-rated theaters and with limited number of prints. It was not an original version of Sergo Parajanov, because it was re-edited by another director(director's version is said to have been lost for ever, after frequent showing in professionals' circle).

The film's title was also changed--"The Color of Pomegranates" was the title which the administrators of USSR's cinema policy selected to deny "biographical" character of the film. In fact, we can see at the very first title that says "This film is not a biographical film about Sayat Nova...". In short, they didn't admit such an extraordinary approach in making a film about historical important persons.

Parajanov's artistic intention apparently went too far, ahead of his time. He wanted to identify the classic poet with himself through the magical play of cinematography, multi-layered mirror-like structure made of image and sound. "Sayat Nova"--it's me", wrote the director in his screenplay by his own hand.

Soviet censorship may have cut some shots or shortened some episodes, to make meanings and intention,which originally were clear,remain ambiguous. For example, Sayat Nova's anxiety for his Christian homeland threatened by Islamic enemies(this theme is clearly developed in the film's scenario recently published in Russian).Parajanv, an artist indifferent to politic issues, didn't think that religious theme, as well as aesthetic "anomaly", might be very dangerous for Soviet directors after the end of "time of thaw". Thus the film could'n be a full realization of authors's original scenario.

Nevertheless,the difficult situation didn't distort the film's concept and vision as a whole. "Sayat Nova" is still brilliant art of work,and, as many masterpieces of Cinema, will overcome Time by its beauty.


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