Close Up

30 March 2019: Sayat-Nova Outtakes


"During the Soviet era, it was customary to incinerate outtakes of negative film stock so the silver could be recycled. Through miraculous circumstances, the outtakes from Parajanov’s classic The Colour of Pomegranates (Sayat-Nova) were saved, granting us a remarkable insight into Parajanov’s creative process and glimpses of ghost films, tantalising suggestions of what these could have been had Parajanov retained control over his material. The Colour of Pomegranates is therefore an "open" book we can finally explore, 50 years after the film’s release.

Five years ago, Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation supported the digital restoration of the film, but now restoration specialist Daniel Bird takes it a step further, fully restoring the original camera negatives of hours of outtakes, not only offering extra visual splendour, but also allowing better understanding of the maestro's process, as well as the censors' decisions at the time of the film’s release." – Edwin Carels

We're pleased to welcome Daniel Bird to present and discusses a selection of these outtakes.

With thanks to Daniel Bird, Ara Sarafian and the Armenian General Benevolent Union.

Part of our Close-Up on Sergei Parajanov