Thursday, 2 March 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 79: Mon Mar 20

The Colour of Pomegranates (Parajanov, 1968): Curzon  Bloomsbury, 8.30pm

This screening is part of the '10th Anniversary Fashion in Film Festival'. You can find full details of the Fashion In Film Festival here.

Here is the feature I wrote for the Guardian on this unique movie.

Chicago Reader:
The late Sergei Paradjanov's greatest film, a mystical and historical mosaic about the life, work, and inner world of the 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, was previously available only in the ethnically “dry-cleaned” Russian version—recut and somewhat reorganized by Sergei Yutkevich, with chapter headings added to clarify the content for Russian viewers. This superior 1969 version of the film, found in an Armenian studio in the early 90s, shouldn't be regarded as definitive (some of the material from the Yutkevich cut is missing), but it's certainly the finest we have and may ever have: some shots and sequences are new, some are positioned differently, and, of particular advantage to Western viewers, much more of the poetry is subtitled. (Oddly enough, it's hard to tell why the “new” shots were censored.) In both versions the striking use of tableaulike frames recalls the shallow space of movies made roughly a century ago, while the gorgeous uses of color and the wild poetic conceits seem to derive from some utopian cinema of the future, at once “difficult” and immediate, cryptic and ravishing. This is essential viewing.
Jonathan Rosenabum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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