Nicolas Jaar Re-Scores a Soviet Art Film
Though we still haven’t really finished mourning the early death of experimental electronic band Darkside, it helps that former frontman Nicolas Jaar has been keeping busy. His latest project? Putting his touches in some cinematic work, or specifically, releasing an alternate soundtrack to the 1969 Soviet Avant-Garde flick, The Color of Pomegranates.
Directed by Sergei Parajanov, The Color of Pomegranates is a landmark film in the avant-garde movement that came to define a majority of European cinema in the late 1960’s. The film portrays the life of an ashik, otherwise known as a bard, and crawls with cryptic and striking imagery of a distant time and place, where books are symbols of power, and scarves weigh as a visual anchors in a gender-bending fantasia of surrealism. Not surprisingly, the film was banned by the rather conservative Soviet Union at the time of its release, not being seen by the rest of the world until 1982.
Now, fresh off of a digital restoration release last year, Jaar has taken to his own spin on the film. Jaar’s soundtrack is split into 20 tracks, and chopped down to the bare name Pomegranates. While no one could really have predicted a reclusive musician scoring a lost treasure of cinema, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Jaar’s typically moody, even spooky, sonic palette inevitably becomes a perfect fit for the alluring visuals of The Color of Pomegranates. Take a look at the whole film, but be prepared a viewing experience heavy on atmosphere. Reaaaaally heavy.