"I first saw this film on a PBS Show. It was incredible. I could not believe how beautiful, and poetic, it was.
Then I saw it in a revival theater here in Los Angeles, and again, I was overwhelmed at the power of this film.
Finally, my dream is realized, and I buy the DVD,,,,,
The people who did the transfer of this film to DVD, should be barred from ever working in any way again on any art project.
They have absolutely no clue, what they are doing.
The source of the DVD seemed to be an old print that was left in the sun for the last 25 years.
It is a travesty.
DO NOT BUY THIS DVD!
and I love the film.
DO NOT ENCOURAGE THESE PEOPLE, THEY MIGHT DO MORE HARM!"
YOU deserve better than this!
Andy Rubio | 09/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Color of Pomegranates is one of the most beautiful films ever made, but Kino Video's now legendary poor DVD transfers mean that all of the colours merge into a slushy brown. there is heavy pixellation, too, another sign that the transfer was hurried and done cheaply. It is almost immoral that they should have the rights to release this film but it seems that they are not capable of taking this responsibility seriously. I love DVDs, but this makes me want to cry - not because I wasted my money (which I did) but because a work of art has been treated so badly. The VHS copy I own is of much higher quality. Do yourself a favour, save yourself some money and buy the VHS version. If you love this film, then write to firstname.lastname@example.org to complain - not that you will get a response."
A most worthy investment...
hakob | Las Vegas, NV | 04/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kino has finally released THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES on DVD, together with Ron Holloway's documentary film PARADJANOV: A REQUIEM. I previously reviewed the VHS version of POMEGRANATES, so rather than discuss the content, I'll restrict my comments to the quality of the DVD presentation for that film. The video transfer for THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES doesn't look bad, especially with the enhanced sharpness of the DVD format, bringing out details and textures that weren't as clear before. Clearly, DVD is the way to go here. Having seen the film in a stunning 35mm print recently, I suspect that the video transfer could be a lot better. Certainly, the Japanese and British videocassettes of the film have richer color. However, to be fair, THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES has a complicated production and preservation history.From what I understand, the so-called "Director's Cut" (which is in fact just the official Armenian release version) doesn't survive in the original negative. The camera negative was cut to make the Russian version re-edited by Sergei Yutkevitch. This probably explains why the prints I've seen of the Russian version have better color. The version which Kino has released, while it's not quite as strong visually, is clearly closer to what Paradjanov originally intended in terms of content. On the positive side, Kino's video is "windowboxed," meaning that there are black bars around the edges of the film, assuring that you see the maximum possible picture from the original frame. The short film "Hakob Hovnatanian," included as an extra on the DVD, is windowboxed as well. The accompanying documentary film PARADJANOV: A REQUIEM is a mixed bag. Director Ron Holloway combines an interview with Paradjanov with footage from Paradjanov's films, providing a basic overview of his work. Paradjanov loved to show off in front of the camera and speaks in a forthright manner, making him a great interview subject, even if you have to take some of what he says with a grain of salt. For American viewers, one of the virtues of this documentary is its clips from Paradjanov's rarely-seen Ukrainian films made before SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS, as well as the unfinished project KIEV FRESCOES. The downside is that the documentary has numerous factual errors and is sloppily put together at times. At one point, when Paradjanov is talking about ASHIK KERIB, Holloway confusingly inserts footage of THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES. At another point Holloway states (roughly) "Fragments are all that remain of HAKOB HOVNATANIAN and KIEV FRESCOES." This is simply not true. "Hakob Hovnatanian" is a one-reel documentary short, and it survives in its complete form. The surviving material for KIEV FRESCOES is a fifteen minute short, complete with a soundtrack, which Paradjanov himself had edited together from the screen tests to show officials when he was trying to make the film, a kind of sketch to suggest the overall look and feel of the finished product. Paradjanov never got to produce the actual film, but the short survives in its entirety. A little more fact checking on Holloway's would have helped. Still, the documentary is worth seeing on the whole. The visual quality is just fine for films of this type. Kino's DVD of THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES may not be perfect, but it's more than acceptable, and it's a good deal with the added bonus of the documentary film."
Simon Simonian | 03/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine a Byzantine mosaic slowly coming to life. . . . That's the closest I, or anyone else, can come to describing Sergei Paradjanov's *The Color of Pomegranates*, one of the most beautiful, aesthetically severe, and difficult films ever put to the screen. The putative subject of the movie is Armenia's national poet, Sayat Nova, but that would be of interest to Armenians only, I suspect. The rest of us will be stunned by Paradjanov's unmitigated audacity, his shocking originality. It's not going too far to say that this film provides the purest example in cinematic history of the director as "auteur". *Pomegranates* is ONE filmmaker's vision, ONE filmmaker's very dreams come to wondrous life. Essentially a painter using a modern-day art-form like the movies, Paradjanov hangs his film before us like a painting. It's as flat as a canvas, and as two-dimensional as a pre-Renaissance Gothic triptych. The "actors" occasionally move about like puppets attached to unseen strings. There is virtually no dialogue, and the few title cards that mark the passage of the poet's life are generally unhelpful to the uninitiated. What the movie basically proves more than anything else is that our concept of what a movie can be is dictated by our own storytelling styles, our own traditions, and our own fierce fondness for ourselves. If you're willing to broaden your perspectives, and if you're willing to have your notions of aesthetic values redefined, then *The Color of Pomegranates* will be an invigorating challenge for you. All others are advised to steer right clear. .... The better-colored version everyone here is clamoring for is the "sanitized", officially-approved-by-the-Soviet-Union version. THIS version is the version that Paradjanov intended for us to see. Unfortunately, there's no original negative to be found; hence the substandard print. Six-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other, in terms of what you'd rather see -- the prettier cut, or the "director's cut". Kino elected to give us the director's cut. I think they've done us a great service, here. ..."
The Best in cinematography
Simon Simonian | 04/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arguably the best movie with images in cinematography, Parajanov's "The Color of a Pomegranate" depicts inner life and spiritual quest of Haroutyun Sayadian known as Sayat Nova, Armenian ashough (troubadour). Parajanov takes us through the set of images from Armenian everyday life: wedding at the church, lamb sacrifice, bath house, where a child begins his discovery of the female body... Like enriched colors on a canvas, Sayat Nova's life is presented in images from his childhood work as an apprentice to departing his home and becoming an ashough. Parajanov draws each scene of the movie like a painter with a colorful palette. "Krak es doo, sev e qo hagine"- the lines that repeat time and time again from Sayat Nova's poetry. It's a song about love and about death. What is this? Life of a famous troubadour as Parajanov sees it... or simply his own memories... Yes, it can be and it is widely accepted as one of the most colorful masterpieces in cinematography. But I believe this movie can be felt only by those who have been exposed to the Armenian life and to those who know how symbolic to our nation the colors of pomegranates are... On a more historical note: the movie was shot in 1969 and was originally called "Sayat Nova". Before releasing, Soviet censure cut about 30 minutes from the movie. Parajanov was later lamenting that the work of his life is lost forever. Shortly after coming to the big screen, Parajanov suffered a lot of accusations for portraying religious and alternative thoughts throughout his movie. "Color of Pomegranates" was banned, and Parajanov was sent to the prison for a few years. Such was the life of one of the greatest talents in cinematography..."