The Color of Pomegranates

The Color of Pomegranates

Criterion Collection Edition #918

A breathtaking fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork overflows with unforgettable images and sounds. In a series of tableaux that blend the tactile with the abstract, THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES revives the splendors of Armenian culture through the story of the eighteenth-century troubadour Sayat-Nova, charting his intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth through iconographic compositions rather than traditional narrative. The film’s tapestry of folklore and metaphor departed from the realism that dominated the Soviet cinema of its era, leading authorities to block its distribution, with rare underground screenings presenting it in a restructured form. This edition features the cut closest to Parajanov’s original vision, in a restoration that brings new life to one of cinema’s most enigmatic meditations on art and beauty.

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The Color of Pomegranates
  • The Color of Pomegranates

    Directed by Sergei Parajanov • 1969 • Soviet Union

    A breathtaking fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork overflows with unforgettable images and sounds. In a series of tableaux that blend the tactile with the abstract, THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES revives the splen...

Extras

  • Edition Intro

  • THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES Commentary

    Recorded in 2017, this commentary features critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns.

  • The Color of Armenian Land

    Directed by Mikhail Vartanov, this rarely screened impressionistic documentary from 1969 features footage of director Sergei Parajanov making THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES.

  • Redefining Cinema

    This 2017 interview with film scholar James Steffen (“The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov”) addresses the making of THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES.

  • Decoding THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES

    In this 2017 video essay, film scholar James Steffen (“The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov”) offers a close reading of the symbols and references in THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES.

  • Sergei Parajanov: The Rebel

    This candid 2003 documentary profiles Sergei Parajanov, and includes interviews with the filmmaker and actor Sofiko Chiaureli.

  • The Life of Sayat-Nova

    Aired March 6, 1977, on the TF1 program “Foi et traditions des chrétiens orientaux,” and directed by Carlos de los Llanos, this program details the life of Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, the inspiration for the film THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES.

  • The Last Film

    This 2015 experimental short documentary by Martiros M. Vartanov, founder of the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute, pays stylistic tribute to filmmakers Sergei Parajanov and Mikhail Vartanov.