Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sayat Nova (Color of Pomegranates) (1968)

So I was on a thread featuring strange and disturbing videos for, uhhh science purposes, and I discovered a music video by Juno Reactor called God is God.  I didn't find it creepy at all like most people did.  In fact I found the images moving and poetic.  I found out that the video was taken from a movie called Sayat Nova (Color of Pomegranates).  I decided to seek out this film and review it.

Today's film is Sayat Nova (Color of Pomegranates), which was filmed in Armenia.  It shows the life of the famous 18th century poet, Sayat Nova.  But, the film isn't told in a traditional narrative, instead the film shows several figurative and imaginative images, almost in a surreal manner.

The characters do not speak, all of the words are narrated by an unseen narrator.  The narration is from actual portions of Sayat Nova's poems, which are mostly romantic in nature.  There's a lot of characters looking deeply at each other, and characters turning their heads very slowly to face the camera.  Some of them stare down the camera and do not lose their gaze.  The slow, abstract nature of the scenes is a lot like a poem rather than a story, which is what the filmmakers wanted.  But, it's not so abstract that it's inaccessible.

Through the film, we see how beautiful the Armenian costumes are.  We watch as Sayat watches the men dye wool, lots of images of intricate rugs, and gaudy ornaments in the monastery.  The same person plays the young Sayat, his lover, and his muse.  We see Sayat's age as he grows up, finds his love of poetry, and later joins a monastery through watching this living poem.  I will rate this film a 7/10.

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