Thursday, February 8, 2001


The Color of Pomegranates and doc

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Cinematheque presents two of Sergei Paradjanov’s masterpieces in 35mm, The Color of Pomegranates (or Sayat Nova) (1969) and The Legend of Suram Fortress (1985), as well as a rarely seen documentary on his life. Born in Georgia to Armenian parents, Paradjanov’s genius embraced the cultural traditions of the Caucasus—Armenian, Georgian, Russian and Azeri. Due to the provocative nature of his films, his sexuality and his personal eccentricities, his works were confiscated and he spent more than six years in Soviet prisons, making Pomegranates and Suram Fortress between sentences. Both feature screenings will be followed by a rare 70-minute
documentary, Paradjanov, The Last Collage, made by Armenian Rouben Kevorkiantz in 1995. It
features interviews with Paradjanov before his death, clips from many of his eleven films, images of his drawings and paintings made in and out of prison, and interviews with international figures who knew and admired him.

1: The Color of Pomegranates and doc
Magnificently stylized with lush and sometimes enigmatic symbolism, Paradjanov’s masterpiece traces the life of the great 18th-century Armenian poet and monk, Sayat Nova, and weaves a metaphorical tale of the history and heritage of the Armenian nation and people— Turkish
genocide, Persian invasions, and a vast migration to the Russian section in the early 20th century. J. Hoberman wrote: it “achieves a sort of visionary para-surrealism through the most economical means of gesture, props and texture…. A sublime and heartbreaking film.” Followed by Paradjanov, The Last Collage, description above. (Leimbacher)