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Author Topic: "Color of the Pomegranate" by Serhiy Paradzhanov (1969) (a.k.a. "Sayat-Nova")  (Read 2433 times) Average Rating: 0
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Heorhij
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« on: October 20, 2007, 05:34:26 PM »

Just saw it for the first time. Tremendously impressed. Those of you who have access to "Netflix," please take a few minutes to see an appendix titled "Serhiy Paradzhanov: Requiem" (released in 1994, based mostly on an interview filmed in Munich in 1990, just a couple of months before the director's death). Amazing.
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 09:10:15 PM »

I recall seeing it when I was in my late teens, around 1980.  For some reason it was actually playing in a theater in the area.  I saw it with a cousin who didn't like it because it didn't have a plot.  It was more of an artsy film.  I liked it though.  It was rich in color and symbolism.  I think it had won an award at Cannes.

Everything in it had some symbolic meaning.  I remember there was a scene where I think they were pouring dye into some containers or something.  I think they were dying wool.  Anyway, Paradzhanov had wanted to make the colors red, blue and orange, the colors of the Armenian nationalist flag.  Because he was afraid of the Soviet authorities, however, he changed the colors to red, blue and red, the colors of the Soviet Armenian flag.  I think, though, a version of the film was circulating which had the original colors.

It tells the story of Sayat Nova, who lived a few hundred years ago during the days of Persian rule.  He wrote secular folk songs which are still sung today, although I think he ended up in a monastery.  He lived in what I think today is Georgia and wrote in Armenian, Georgian and Kurdish.  I don't know how accurate the film is when it comes to the details of his life.  I seem to recall a scene that implied he fell in love with a nun.  I don't think that happened.  It's a good movie, though, if you like artsy type films.
   
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2007, 07:40:35 AM »

Salpy, thanks for the comment! Yes, "Sayat Nova" is very "artsy," full of symbolism. Paradzhanov's previous big film, "Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors" (1964) (also known in the US as "Wild Horses of Fire") is somewhat less complicated, and it has a clear plot. In the "Requiem" that I mentioned, however, Paradzhanov says that in his mind, there was no fundamental difference between the two motion pictures, even though they were about two very different epochs and countries. In both, the main heroes are Life, Love, God, People (not in the sense "humans," but in the sense - particular nations with their very peculiar folklore, unique customs, ways of life, history, georgaphy, appearance, colors, beliefs, language), and Tragedy.

It's amazing to me how deep was Paradzhanov's Ukrainian patriotism. He was a 100% Armenian by nationality (real name Sarkis Parajanyan), but when he moved to Kyiv after his studies at the famous VGIK, he fell in deep lifelong love with Ukraine. One of the reasons - and maybe even the main reason - he fell into disgrace with the Soviet authorities was that he categorically refused to sign a document giving the green light to dubbing his "Shadows" into Russian. He said that if the film were dubbed, then the original Ukrainian version would be buried in archives and the Russian translation, which would just kill the soul of the motion picture, would be spread.

It's also amazing how God is present, constantly, in both films.
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 07:00:52 PM »

Just saw the DVD mentioned and also the Requiem.

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It's amazing to me how deep was Paradzhanov's Ukrainian patriotism. He was a 100% Armenian by nationality (real name Sarkis Parajanyan), but when he moved to Kyiv after his studies at the famous VGIK, he fell in deep lifelong love with Ukraine. One of the reasons - and maybe even the main reason - he fell into disgrace with the Soviet authorities was that he categorically refused to sign a document giving the green light to dubbing his "Shadows" into Russian. He said that if the film were dubbed, then the original Ukrainian version would be buried in archives and the Russian translation, which would just kill the soul of the motion picture, would be spread.

It's also amazing how God is present, constantly, in both films.

Just a footnote in case you didn't pick it up from the Requiem or forgot, Paradzhanov was married to a Ukrainian woman in Kyiv and had a son with her who is seen briefly and who is very much a Ukrainian.

have you seen any of his Georgian films?
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