I saw The Color of Pomegranates (by Sergei Parajanov, a Soviet filmmaker of Armenian heritage, 1969, International Film Exchange) during the Soviet Arts Festival in the company of a visiting cadre of Georgian culturistes who watched in hushed admiration. The film’s an ascetic pleasure, depicting static scenes from the life of a storied Armenian poet. Parajanov’s work is almost the opposite of a motion picture, with only hints of sound and the slightest of motion to convey an entire rich tapestry of a world now lost.
Available on YouTube and Archive.org.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (USA, 1967, United Artists), a joyful romp that’s all color, motion, and sound. Robert Morse is perfect as a happy-go-lucky but ambitious corporatchik who provides the perfect origin story for his role in Mad Men. Hollywood’s efforts to capture Bob Fosse’s movements for the big screen are nothing short of amazing. I can’t watch this without laughing out loud.
Available on Amazon Video and iTunes.
- Stephen Russell
- Architect and urbanist