The Color of Pomegranates

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Anthonis..fellow EG’er recommended this film awhile back and told us
to avoid the terrible Kino DVD if possible….so I did…and waited
until I could see a print…well finally, Walter Reade screened a
print as part of Lincoln Center’s Dance on Camera Festival.

I’m happy I waited…because basically this film is all visuals. About the Armenian poet Sayat Nova. But if it didn’t state that with titles, the viewer would have no idea whatsoever what it’s about. Basically 88 min. of different shots that look like they are medieval paintings. Acting is intentionally over the top…but you can’t really call it acting…it’s more like posing. It’s fitting that a film about a poet is basically a visual poem.

Now here’s the problem… in 2007, we are used to getting this sort of imagery in music videos and commercials thrown at us in 3 second shots. And we can absorb the basically the same information in a 4 minute music video. Now there are some that will say that it is the length of the shots and the timing are important and should be respected. I totally think that being rewarded at the end of a long film is wonderful BUT that always applies to narrative films… in which the audience is forced to sit through a journey…which can sometimes be tedious or uncomfortable… and then be presented with an ending that makes the audience appreciate the time invested. But with non-narrative films…which this basically is, it becomes monotonous and repetitive.

So here is my suggestion… which could get me lynched by cinefiles..and maybe even Anthonis…. get your hands on a good transfer..NOT KINO…and scan it. Scan the whole fucking thing…just to get a sense of what Paradjanov did…but no reason to invest the whole 88 min.