by Douglas Messerli
the star at the bottom of the well
Vladimir Bogomolov, Andrei Konchalovsky, Mikhail Papava, and Andrei Tarkovsky (writers) [based on a story by Vladimir Bogomolov], Andrei Tarkovsky (director) Ivanovo detstvo (Ivan's Childhood) / 1962 /I saw this movie at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on January 23, 2010
creating the impossible
Andrei Tarkovsky and Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky (screenplay), Andrei Tarkovsky (director) Andrei Rublev / 1966 / I saw the film at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on January 30, 2010
Like the iconic images of the artist upon which this movie focuses, Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev is less a story or even a series of stories than it is a panorama of stopped moments in time. Like the great films of director Sergei Parajanov, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors two years earlier Sayat Nova of 1968, Andrei Rublev is less a film about time than it is a series of emblematic images, scenes that in their slow resolution of beauty and horror reveal a passionate and transformative experience that has little do with story or plot. And in that sense, nearly all of Tarkovsky's works from this film forward tell themselves in formal cinematic patterns instead of narrative space.
Indeed what Andrei has witnessed in the various events of the film so far comes to influence his early statement of values in "The Last Judgment." Here Andrei and Danil have found an excellent job, the decoration of a church in Vladimir, but their work is not progressing, as Andrei, somewhat in doubt, but gradually out of principle, refuses to paint the topic he has been assigned. The horror of the subject appalls him, as he recognizes the theme as being another way that those in power terrify the common folk.
Los Angeles, February 9, 2010
Reprinted from Green Integer Blog (February 2010).
Arkadi Strugastky, Boris Strugatsky and Andrei Tarkovsky (screenplay) [based on a novel by the Strugastky's], Andrei Tarkovsy (director) Stalker / 1979 / the screening I saw as at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on January 23, 2010
*Most of these scenes were filmed near Tallinn, Estonia, in an area around a small river with a half-functioning hydroelectric station. As sound-editor Victor Sharun has written:
waiting for something else
Andrei Tarkovsky (screenplay and director) Offret (The Sacrifice) / 1986 / The screening I saw was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on February 5, 2010
Compared with the epic works such as Andrei Rublev and even Stalker, Tarkovsky's last film seems narratively simpler. His roving and constantly shifting images become, in the hands of cinematographer Sven Nykvist (also Ingmar Bergman's cinematographer), a series of longer and more focused scenes; in a film of 149 minutes there are, reportedly, only 115 shots.
Los Angeles, April 15, 2010
Reprinted from Green Integer Blog (March 2010).