The Colour of Pomegranates (S. Paradjanov, 1969)

More series of living tableaux than conventional narrative cinema, The Colour of Pomegranates represents the meeting of European and Central Asian cinema characterised in Russian 20th century modernist art. Watching this film is like strolling through a gallery resplendent with aesthetic styles and ethnic artifacts. The film is steeped in metaphor: pomegranate juice and blood appears throughout the film, bearing the weight of metaphoric meanings, from love to the martyrdom of the Armenian people.

Mirroring Sayat-Nova’s lyric style, the poet whose life is charted in the film, Paradjanov heightens the sensory details of the scenes: the sound of hot, wet, newly dyed wool hitting metal salvers, the squishy sound of grapes bursting underneath toes. Significant moments are repeated and replayed as in memory and verse, sometimes with slight variations to account for shifts in feeling and perspective.

The Colour of Pomegranates with live score (with Q & A / introductory talk options) is available for booking until the end of 2020.