A 1969 arthouse masterpiece by Georgian-Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov is honored in Lady Gaga’s latest video, featuring 911 – singer and songwriter’s collaboration with video director Tarsem Singh – recreate shots of The color of pomegranates.
Realizing the long-held idea of Grammy Award-winning Singh, the recreation of the visuals of Parajanov’s Soviet-era classic features all the hallmarks of the original – bright colors, varied fabrics and surreal costumes. .
The similarities are very direct, with several cinema-themed accounts on social media juxtaposing scenes from the two productions to illustrate the similarity.
The color of pomegranates is one of the highlights of the legacy of Paradjanov, born in Tbilisi in 1924. The director wrote and directed the feature film in 1969, involving a cast of Georgian and Armenian actors, mainly Sofiko Chiaureli.
The Color of Pomegranates (1969)
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An artistic biography of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, the film recounts chapters in the artist’s life mainly against a background of music and song, with only a few lines of speech. The filmmaker himself credited the Armenian miniature as his inspiration for the film.
At the end of its production, the feature film fell victim to Soviet cultural censorship, seen as diverging from the accepted style of socialist realism. The material was handed over to the director and screenwriter Sergei Yutkevich with the task of editing it.
Admirer of Parajanov, Yutkevich minimized his interference in the work. Parajanov was initially disappointed with the reviews, but later credited Yutkevich with “saving” his film.
A number of restorations of The Color of Pomegranates, with the aim of moving the work to digital medium, have been attempted over the past decades, with a restored version projected across Europe in 2015.
A recent biopic on Parajanov himself hit the big screen in Tbilisi in 2014.