Wandering minstrel Ashik Kerib falls in love with a rich merchant's daughter, but is spurned by her father and forced to roam the world for a thousand and one nights - but not before he's ... See full summary »
A grim portrayal of the shift from Paganism to Christianity in medieval Czechoslovakia - as a young virgin promised to God is kidnapped and raped by a marauder who her religious father seeks to kill in return.
Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.
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.Written by
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.
42 of 52 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this