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Color of Pomegranates [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Alekyan, Vilen Galstyan, Gogi Gegechkori, Spartak Bagashvili
  • Directors: Ron Holloway, Sergei Parajanov
  • Writers: Sergei Parajanov, Sayat Nova
  • Producers: Dorothea Moritz
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Armenian, English, Russian
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • Release Date: Sept. 1 2004
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005A05I

Product Description

Amazon.ca

This controversial 1969 film directed by rebellious Russian filmmaker Sergei Paradzhanov (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) chronicles the life of the 18th-century poet Sayat Nova, but in a most unconventional way. Paradzhanov seeks to portray the poet by different actors at various stages of his long life, from a poor childhood working on farms through early celebration as a poet to his self-imposed isolation as a cloistered monk. The unorthodox stream-of-consciousness style of the film highlights character over plot, using the poet's own words as a springboard for sumptuous images that chart the course of his life from birth until death, from his youth and the great love of his life through his struggles with religion and philosophy and the despair of old age. The loose, evocative style not only brings to life the poetry of Sayat Nova's body of work, but also brings great weight to the poetry of his life. Challenging, defiant, and unconventional, The Color of Pomegranates is a must for those searching for new and different forms of filmmaking. --Robert Lane

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PARAJANOV.com on Dec 16 2003
Format: VHS Tape
1 of the Greatest Films Ever Made, "COLOR OF POMEGRANATE - SAYAT NOVA", appears on endless lists of Top 100 most important films of all time -- and is considered a masterpiece by filmmakers, film professors, film critics, film students, film historians and film legends such as Fellini, Godard and Antonioni. Therefore, the comments by incompetent reviewers, matter not!
Issue of animal cruelty is nonsense and only demonstrates the reviewer's illiteracy. Comprehensive review of Parajanov's COLOR OF POMEGRANATE (not plural "pomegranates"), including the quality of DVD, VHS, various prints, alternative versions and the importance of this cinematic jewel, will be published at [...] in 2004.
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The first images I saw in Pomegranates left me thinking, "there's no way the director can keep this up throughout the whole film!"
He can and he does.
The entire film is made up of nothing but poetic images. Acting is almost a non-issue; the only thing the actors in this movie have to worry about is keeping a straight face while staring straight ahead and not moving their heads. The images are often beautiful and striking in their artificiality, but this will no doubt prove to be overkill for many viewers... this is definitely not a film to buy blindly; I reccommend seeing it somewhere else first, like in a library. Personally, the images kept me interested. Each one seems to be an allegory for something real (the movie is, after all, designed to be an abstract representation of a poet's mind), but while some of the allegories are quite easy to figure out (ie. young Nova picking up a book in one scene, then in the next scene he's surrounded by hundreds of huge books, their pages flapping in the wind), others are very difficult. It would be very nice for me to have a special commentary feature on a dvd where somebody explains what each scene is supposed to represent.
The best way to see this movie is definetely on a big screen on the original 35mm film... the VHS version that I had (Director's Cut released by CONNOISSEUR VIDEO COLLECTION) simply SCREAMED to me for greater detail; Paradjanov doesn't always zoom in on important small details, and the picture quality on the VHS was like all VHSs a bit fuzzy. From what I heard, the Kino DVD isn't much better, so I don't really know what options there are.
(...).
I'd like to point out that for one thing, we don't SEE the lamb get slaughtered; the knife is brought to its neck and then we see the hanging dead body of a lamb.
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By A Customer on March 3 2004
Format: DVD
This really is an absolutely extraordinary film, all the more so when one considers the conditions under which Sergei Paradjanov made it. While it is true to say that the pace of the film is slow and its plot inscrutable there is no denying the absolute genius and vision of its director. It is hard to compare this film to any other but for me I would quote what Stanley Kubrick once said when asked to explain the meaning of 2001: A Space Odyssey to a film critic - "Sometimes the truth of a thing is not so much in the think of it, but in the feel of it". This is how I would approach a film like The Color of Pomegranates for the first time, do not attempt to understand or extract meaning from it straight away but let the film's amazing visual dynamism sink into your sub-consciousness and marvel at the sheer audacity of the director's non-conventional approach to film making. It is such a terrible shame that this amazing artist (for Sergei Paradjanov was not just a film-maker) was harassed and imprisoned on false charges by the Soviet authorities for much of his adult life and denied the ability bring more of his unique visions to life but perhaps such hardships made him utilise his artistic gifts all the more when confronted by such oppression.
Anybody who enjoys this film should also seek out his other films that are widely available for viewing, namely Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (1964), The Legend of Suram Fortress (1984) and Ashik Kerib (1988) for we are lucky to have these few masterpieces of his.
I have only viewed this film on Kino's DVD version so I cannot compare it with any other versions.
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Format: DVD
One really has to dig VERY deep into the metaphorical bag to be able to convincingly say that there are homoerotic undertones to this film. And yes, there is a decapitated ram in one scene, but for all one knows, it could have been a nice piece of taxidermy work. But I suppose anyone touchy enough to be offended at that would find taxidermy itself offensive. Anyway, that's not to say that Color of Pomegranates is for everyone. It's slow, so you need a good attention span, and its compositions are eclectic and mysterious, so you also need a good sense for the mysterious and the beautiful. It doesn't follow a typical narrative structure, so those looking for something to hold on to will be left lost. Mostly, Color is a love letter to Armenia; its culture, religion, language, literature, etc. However, it is also a glimpse into the wonderful mind-world of Paradjanov. Those familiar with Armenia and its culture are likely to be at a loss to categorise this film as well, and will have to sit back with the rest of us and let Paradjanov's dazzling imagery sink in like a fine wine.
I wish Kino would do a better job with their DVD transfers. It's better than the VHS tape, but really, they could have cleaned the film up considerably, as well as offered some special features. The Paradjanov documentary is nice, though it's really presented more as two films on one DVD, rather than as a special feature. Removable subtitles and a new translation would have been nice, too. Kino really needs to give these to Criterion to see what they can dig up. I'm sure it would be spectacular, as usual.
Parajanov.com is such a negative reviewer, and is very picky. Color of POMEGRANATE does not translate well in english.
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