“Colour of the Pomegranate” is 40 Years Old: the Legend of Armenian Cinema Restored by VivaCell-MTS

Back 18 July 2009 15:10
“Colour of the Pomegranate” is 40 Years Old: the Legend of Armenian Cinema Restored by VivaCell-MTS

“I do not know what cinema is, I do not know what this film is, but this man is a genius. Hold both hands of this man firmly and keep him in Armenia,” said Martiros Saryan after watching “Colour of the Pomegranate”.

From now on the Armenian spectator has an opportunity to watch the Armenian version of “Colour of the Pomegranate” by Sergey Parajanov. The author of the text is Hrant Matevosyan, a prominent writer of the late 20th century. This edition is the closest to the author’s version.

Parajanov’s Friends Remember and Talk about him and his Film

“The film was not accepted by many... To this day there are people who pretend they understand it, but not so... There was one main reason for the non-acceptance. Parajanov was the first to bring not literature or politics but visual arts to the foreground.” (P. Zeytuntsyan)

“...Parajanov had his room on the second floor of this very hotel. We were gathering in his room day and night and wanted to listen to him all the time... He was so interesting a phenomenon that it was impossible for us to be indifferent.

One should expect a surprise from him every minute. Parajanov was the wealth that our people once had. (V. Galstyan)

“...He never had a final written script. He was creating every minute, imagining episodes... The script was in his head. The film was made and to this day continues its triumphant path, but I will also mention that since the moment of its making to this day the film is accepted by common and educated people... the middle class neither understood nor will ever understand it.” (S. Andranikyan)

“We, painters, musicians, writers, did not accept cinema as art but the meeting with Parajanov astonished me: I saw that cinema was art. (Yuri Harutyunyan)

“Two geniuses can never work together. This sentence brought me to cinema, to “Colour of the Pomegranate”, Perch Zeytuntsyan says and explains that the artistic board had not understood anything, and it was suggested that Paruyr Sevak too become a co-author of the script. Everyone agreed. I was also there, and, speaking frankly, I did not say anything particularly clever: just that two geniuses can never work together; only mediocre people can do the same thing... Surprisingly, the board became convinced, and when the issue of Sevak’s participation was withdrawn, Parajanov, who did not even know me, pointed at me and said, “... I want this guy”, and we started to work. What have I done?... Sincerely, nothing, I simply did not get in the way, while I learnt a lot from him...” (Perch Zeytuntsyan)

TIGRAN MANSURYAN: “I am happy that there is such a good day. I recall the days when the film was already being screened, and we, people and actors associated with the film, were visiting the movie theatres to understand how people accepted this ‘unusual’ film. Now it is 40 years that the film lives and enjoys world recognition. I will only say that when ten years ago Boulez was asked in New York what he thought of modern cinema, he answered that there was nothing serious in cinema except one film called “Colour of the Pomegranate”. This was an exclusive appraisal of the film by the musician...”

Moscow Cinema
 Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation
Festival Coverage