“Watching Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates, or Sayat Nova, is like opening a door and walking into another dimension, where time has stopped and beauty has been unleashed. On a very basic level, it’s a biography of the Armenian poet Sayat Nova, but before all else it’s a cinematic experience, and you come away remembering images, repeated expressive movements, costumes, objects, compositions, colors.”—Martin Scorsese. The Film Foundation’s and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna’s painstaking restoration of the original Armenian version of Sayat Nova—a cinematic Holy Grail—represents “the closest thing we have to Parajanov’s (Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors) eccentric, at times bawdy, yet profound vision for the film,” according to scholar James Steffen. A visually dazzling biography of the eponymous eighteenth century poet and musician related through a succession of opulently exotic tableaux…bursting with enough pomegranates to stain the heavens, Sayat Nova is a stunning conflation of the medieval and modernist, of pagan and Christian influences, inhabiting the unlikely frontier between Soviet silent cinema and the outré artistry of such figures as Jack Smith and James Lee Byars.”—James Quandt, Toronto International Film Festival.
The Color of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova)
Sponsored by Nancy Bixler & Michael Hudak
Soviet Georgia 1969 – DCP – 77 Minutes
In Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian with English subtitles
Director, Screenplay (based on poems from “Sayat Nova”): Sergei Parajanov
Cast Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Alekyan, Vilen Galstyan, Gogi Gegechkori
Print Courtesy: The Film Foundation, Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna