Thursday, August 11, 2011

506. Sayat Nova/The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

Running Time: 78 minutes
Directed By: Sergei Parajanov, Sergei Yutkevich
Written By: Sergei Parajanov, from the poetry of Sayat Nova
Main Cast: Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Aleksanyan, Vilen Galstyan, Giorgi Gegechkori, Spartak Bagashvili


My water is of a very special kind./
Not everyone can drink it./

My writing is of a very special kind./

Not everyone can read it./

Wanting to knock out another film from the 60s as I await my two Netflix movies, I again turned to the streaming portion of Netflix tonight and to "The Color of Pomegranates". For my eyes, it was pure torture and probably the longest eighty minutes I've ever spent watching a movie.

I won't even bother attempting to tell you what the film is about, because it lacks a formal narrative. The film is simply image after image, with no dialogue and apparently somewhere in there we're supposed to be getting a telling of the life of Armenian poet Sayat Nova. I'll be completely honest with you folks I gave up even trying to find redeemable qualities in this one after about thirty minutes. Beyond that I was just going through the motions, watching the pictures come up, trying my best to make something beautiful out of them, failing and repeating. Prior to watching "The Color of Pomegranates" I was told of the breathtaking cinematography that I would behold upon watching this "masterpiece". To me, the imagery wasn't breathtaking by any positive sense of the word and I simply found myself praying to God that the time would go faster and this film would simply end, so that I could put it behind me.

As a lover of film, when watching a movie I pattern myself after a fish and all that a movie need do, when trying to appeal to me, is throw me some bait. This film cast it's hook, but not a morsel was to be found. If you call "The Color of Pomegranates" art, then I simply couldn't see it - if you call it poetry, then I simply couldn't hear it. I never apologize for forming my own opinions and I don't plan to start now. "The Color of Pomegranates", from behind my eyes, was nothing more than eighty of the dullest minutes of my life and if not for this grand project, I'd consider it eighty minutes 100% and completely wasted. If you were able to find something artistic, poetic or enlightening about this picture, then I say good for you. You were able to find a gem, where I found only overrated garbage. I never ridicule someone for having an opinion that is more positive than mine, I simply am happy for them that they found something where I couldn't.

In fact, if any fans of this movie are reading this right now, I invite you to firstly cool your head after reading my harsh thoughts and then pop open the "comments" tab at the bottom of this page and try your best to explain to me what it was about this film that touched you. I know many of the fans of this film will consider it art and art isn't often easy to explain, but I do invite you to try....for my sake, if you will.

RATING: 1/10 I immediately hiked "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" to the top of my Netflix queue, as I figure if I'm gonna' do it, I might as well jump in with both feet.


August 11, 2011 1:56am


  1. !
    Well, that has whetted my appetite..
    After being totaly unobtainable in Europe (I can hear you cry of 'lucky you' from here), this will be released in the next week or two, and is on my waiting list from 'Love film' (Dvd hire by post). I've long been intrigued by the sound of this film.. so watch this space...

  2. Well.. it arrived today.
    I try and avoid critisising something I didn't understand.. my lack of knowledge and insight into something outside my cultural bubble is no reason to condem it. We all could do with more insight into other cultures and attitudes. I know nothing of Armenian culture, and had never heard of Sayat Nova untill I first read of this film in the book. I'm afraid I still know and understand nothing, and perhaps that is a critisism in itself?
    All that said, I'm afraid I did find getting through this one a chore and was glad to tick it off and return the disc to Love film. I felt dissapointed in myself for this - I usually am very tollerant of 'difficult' art forms.
    I've another from this guy to get through? Well....


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