Directors MORE DIRECTORS CHECKLIST SERIES - Volume #205: THE FILMS OF ANDREI TARKOVSKY

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brook K, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Rate 'em, Rank 'em, Review 'em, whatever

    Volume #205: Andrei Tarkovsky

    The Sacrifice (1986)
    Nostalghia (1983)
    Tempo di viaggio (1983) (TV)
    Stalker (1979)
    The Mirror (1975)
    Solaris (1972)
    Andrei Rublev (1969)
    Ivan's Childhood (1962)
    The Steamroller and the Violin (1960)
    There Will Be No Leave Today (1959)
    Extract (1958)
    The Killers (1958)
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    His are the most complex films I've come across. They demand multiple viewings, but offer enormous rewards.

    *1. Stalker - A
    2. The Sacrifice - A (Tarkovsky's last will and testament)
    *3. Andrei Rublev - A (The triumph of faith over fear)
    4. Mirror - A-
    *5. Solaris - A-
    6. Nostalghia - A-
    7. Ivan's Childhood - B+

    8. The Steamroller and the Violin - B+
    9. The Killers - B

    Own: 3
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    ANDREI TARKOVSKY

    Seen: 4
    Like: 0
    Own: 0

    Rank order:

    The Killers (1958)
    The Sacrifice (1986)
    Andrei Rublev (1969)
    The Mirror (1975)


    The Killers is an uninspired, straight-forward retelling of part of the great 1946 film, compeletly devoid of any of the magic or greatness of that film. Still, as a student film, it's deserves praise.

    Unfortunately, his real films, at least the ones I've seen, make Bunuel seem like a maker of traditional Hollywood studio films. Tarkovsky takes the bad parts of Bunuel's films, and makes whole films like that. Unfathomable and uninteresting are about the two nicest things I can say about a film like The Mirror.

    Of course, Tarkovsky's other films could be very different. Solaris and Stalker are both on my to rent list.
     
  4. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Ratings out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    ANDREI TARKOVSKY (1932 - 1986)


    The Sacrifice (1986) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Nostalghia (1983)
    Tempo di viaggio (1983)
    Stalker (1979) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The Mirror (1975) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Solaris (1972) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Andrei Rublev (1969) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Ivan's Childhood (1962)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The Steamroller and the Violin (1960)
    There Will Be No Leave Today (1959)
    Extract (1958)

     
  5. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    The Sacrifice (1986) (Own the DVD)

    Seen 8
    Own 6
     
  6. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    The Sacrifice (1986)
    Nostalghia (1983)

    Tempo di viaggio (1983) (TV)
    Stalker (1979)
    The Mirror (1975)
    Solaris (1972)
    Andrei Rublev (1969)
    Ivan's Childhood (1962)

    The Steamroller and the Violin (1960)
    There Will Be No Leave Today (1959)
    Extract (1958)
    The Killers (1958)


    Bolded films I've seen.
     
  7. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    Ranks and ratings:

    1: Solaris (1972) *****
    2: The Sacrifice (1986) ****
    3: Stalker (1979) ****
    4: The Killers (1958) ****
    5: The Mirror (1975) ***[​IMG]
    6: Andrei Rublev (1969) ***

    Seen 6
    Own 1
     
  8. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Tarkovsky is too important to reduce to a single list, so I'm going to treat just one film in this post, and hopefully others to follow.

    Andrei Rublev or The Passion According to Andrei
    IMO, Tarkovsky's great masterpiece and the single most important film about an artist's relation to his culture ever made. But which artist named Andrei is the real subject of this film? Both certainly, and their parallels are interesting, but the film transcends even this dialectic. And, I hasten to add, it's not in the slightest bit pendantic, doesn't draw attention to the question "whose Passion?", and certainly comes to no pat conclusions about either its subject or author.

    The film feels almost like an actual found artifact from the middle ages. Its structure is very simple: an episodic tale touching upon various conflicts within the artist, or rather artists generally, in some episodes featuring the main character prominently and in others only secondarily. This very basic structure is bookended by a prologue and epilogue. The prologue is a gorgeous metaphor, essentially a gloss of the Icarus myth: a Russian peasant takes flight from an orthodox church wearing a hot air balloon, marveling at a "God's eye" view of the earth that perhaps only he had ever witnessed at that time. Before, of course, the inevitable crash to the ground. The epilogue is a montage of Rublev's greatest frescoes and icons, essentially his representations of the "God's eye" view granted to only the very greatest artists, and presented to us not unlike a revelation, like stone tablets from the mountaintop.

    The episodes that comprise the body of the film deal with various aspects of the artist's life, each touching upon a conflict that seems specific but can easily be generalized to speak to the metaphorical universal "artist". But, again, not in pendantic way. Rublev leaving the first monastery to gain greater knowledge, greater experience... and perhaps greater fame. Kirill's jealousy of Rublev's gifts and attempts to undermine him with Theophanes the Greek (think Salieri in "Amadeus"). Rublev's dialog with Theophanes about the purpose of religion, and hence religious art. The very Christian Rublev's fascination with the pagan rituals, their mystery and mysticism, the connection with nature. The impact of war and political intrigue, and Rublev's act of violence in defense of another that gives rise his need to do penance, to renounce his gift, to seek a practical life. And the final, amazing episode featuring young Boris and the making of the bell. Boris' act of crazy faith, and its success, jarring Rublev from his self-imposed artistic exile.

    A simple film, perhaps Tarkovsky's most straightforward save "Ivan's Childhood" and his far lesser student films, but one that evokes infinite layers of meaning. As many times as I've seen it, the well has still not run dry, and it continues to reveal its mysteries and insights. Many of its most significant moments are entirely ineffable, beyond the realm of discourse, existing only as wordless poetry. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrible, from the chaste to the vulgar, from the sublime heights of artistic achievement to the depths of violence and torture, it's a film that seems to encompass the whole of the universe. One of the greatest works of art of the 20th century.
     
  9. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Thank you Rich, I don't think I've seen the structure of Andrei Rublev described in such an easy-to-understand manner. While I knew some of the aspects of the film you describe, I didn't realize that the epilogue was connected to the prologue thematically. Reminds me of the early days of HTF and Beavers when I was just dipping my toe into world cinema and you introduced me to many films and filmmakers, Tarkovsky among them.

    Fassbinder will be coming, I just need a day when I have enough time to do him more justice than a quickly jotted sentence or two.
     
  10. Mario Gauci

    Mario Gauci Cinematographer

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    In order of merit:


    1.Andrei Rublev (1966) ****
    2.Solaris (1972) ***1/2
    3.Ivan's Childhood (1962) ***1/2
    4.Stalker (1979) ***
    5.Mirror (1974) ***
    6.The Sacrifice (1986) **1/2


    I also have NOSTALGHIA (1983) on VHS, as well as Criterion's 2-Disc Set of THE KILLERS which features Tarkovksy's 1958 student film...and which I've yet to watch despite having purchased it over 2 years ago[​IMG]!!
     
  11. Arman

    Arman Screenwriter

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    .
     
  12. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    The Sacrifice (1986) - 4/10
    Nostalghia (1983) - 9/10
    Stalker (1979) - 9/10
    The Mirror (1975) - 8/10
    Solaris (1972) - 7/10
    Andrei Rublev (1969) - 6/10
    Ivan's Childhood (1962) - 8/10


    I've gradually warmed up to Tarkovsky. I need to revisit Andrei Rublev and Sacrifice some day.
     
  13. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Updated:

    Ivan's Childhood - B+
     
  14. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    UPDATED:

    The Killers (1958) [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)

    Seen 8
    Own 6
     
  15. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    added Ivan's Childhood (1962) - 9/10
     
  16. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    added Nostalghia (1983) - 9/10
     
  17. Guest

     
  18. Guest

    Docked Steamroller and the Violin a star. Its slight compared to his features.
     
  19. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Update:

    Stalker (1979)
     
  20. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Update:


    Ivan's Childhood (1962)
     

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