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The Color of Pomegranates

August 30, 2012

One of the less well known and most unusual films on my S&S Rejects list is The Color of Pomegranates, directed by Sergei Paradjanov (or Parajanov or Paradzhanov) and released in 1968. Paradjanov was a Georgian-born Armenian and the movie is about the 18th Century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova. It is a brilliant attempt to translate poetry into film, a series of images and tableaux that are both historical and surrealist, accompanied by a haunting soundtrack of what I take to be traditional Armenian music. It is poetic not in a vague and gauzy way but in a true sense, through resonant concreteness. It may remind you of other non-narrative or quasi-narrative art films, including some bad ones, but it remains unique, and, I think, successful to a rare degree. If one of the best reasons to watch a movie, or engage with any form of art, is to have a significant experience that you have never had before, then this is a movie well worth watching. And you can do so very conveniently, if it not ideally, by streaming it through either Netflix or Youtube.

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