Rashomon, Traffic, and Andrei Rublev from the normal guy's point of view

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dome Vongvises, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Woohoo!!! Duke got beat!!! [​IMG]
    I'm sorry I just had to say something that's part of a great day.
    Anyway, I started my day by going to Analytical Chemistry at 9:30 and ended with a Virology seminar at 11:00ish and proceeded towards William T. Young Library, 2nd or 3rd largest college library in the U.S (things aren't all that bad in Kentucky, and yes we do wear shoes). Proceeded down to the basement where I checked out Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. As only one of many myriad sidenotes, I noticed Wild Strawberries next to the film, which I'll naturally check out next time.
    I plunked down in one of the many viewing rooms and sat down to watch it. Mind you I had very high expectations for this film, and every single one of them were met. So much that I've decided to buy the Criteiron when it comes out this March 26.
    What's the amazing signficance of this? I have extremely pedestrian tastes, but I not only appreciated the cinematic genius behind Rashomon (almost as much as Seven Samurai), but I thoroughly enjoyed it at the superficial level as well (though not as much as Seven Samurai in that respect). This is where I come in and say a high thumbs up (overall score: A) and a great recommendation to film buffs or drama fans. I'll give a better analysis later, but I must proceed to Traffic.
    There's absolutely no connection whatsoever between the two films besides the impending Criterion editions. Well, no wait, that's the secondary reason I wanted to watch both films. [​IMG] Anyways, I rented Traffic at my local Hancock Home Video. So many people praised it, many said it was overrated, and many more said it was boring as hell. In situations such as this, I said screw those guys, I'm forming my own opinion.
    Well, count me in as those that love the movie. I thought the pacing, the myriad of related story-lines, and the acting were excellent. I'll probably get the Criterion of this as well. Overall score of -A.
    The best part of the day has just past, and what am I doing to top off the night? First part of Andrei Rublev coming up!!! Oh God, Rich Malloy is going to kill me once he finds out I just got around to watching this. [​IMG]
    Seriously, the whole point of this thread is to encourage some of our other newer members to check out the classic Rashomon and give Traffic a chance. Movies, from the Phillistine's point of view!!!
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Dome, thanks for whetting my appetite! I haven't seen Rashomon in a few years so I'm very much looking forward to March 26th! I'm probably going to pick up the Traffic disc as well. I appreciated that movie much more after a second viewing. Good luck with Andrei Rublev - Tarkovsky is an acquired taste. By that I mean that you have to be in the right frame of mind to watch many of his movies. If you're not, you'll be bored stiff. But if you're attuned to a Tarkovsky film, you'll find that it can be a transcendent experience. After you watch Andrei Rublev, check out The Sacrifice. It's one of the most beautifully shot movies I've ever seen.
     
  3. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the help, SteveGon.
    I just finished Andrei Rublev earlier today, and I must honestly say I don't really know what to think of it. To me initially, I thought the film was about Rublev reconciliating? his art and his religion while at the same time bearing witness to the horrible events of 1400's Russia (Tartar invasions, the plauge, and the Russian royalty). I'll need some more time to think on this.
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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  5. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Dome, I'm almost positive that's the complete version (though in it's crappiest home video presentation!). You'll know for sure if you can remember (1) whether you saw the jester's bare ass when he went into a handstand at the end of his bawdy song?, or (2) whether the horse that stumbled down the steps during the sack of Vladimir was eventually speared in the heart by a Tatar warrior?

    If you saw both these shots, then that was the unedited version. There are many, many, many other differences, some very significant, but I think these two are likely the most memorable.
     
  7. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

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    Too bad I found this thread after I rented Andrei Rublev. I tried sitting through this film and made it through the entire first part and shut it off, it just couldn't hold my interest. This is my first Tarkovsky film and I had read that AR was a good introduction. I loved some of the camera work and the shots that he composed, it was the narrative I had trouble with. I think I will take Mr. Malloy's advice and re-rent it after reading the information contained in the links he provided. Rich, ever get around to publishing your work on Andrei Rublev? I for one would love to see it!
    For the record, it was the Criterion version I rented, and I am used to slow paced films. I have made my way through the Dreyer box set (loved it!) several Bergman and Fellini films. I would like to hear why you liked Andrei Rublev and what personally did you get out of the film? Regards, Jim
     
  8. Pascal A

    Pascal A Second Unit

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    The Fox Lorber VHS tapes are defiitely edited. I remember seeing the Criterion DVD release for the first time after having owned the VHS for a while, and wondering if the picture restoration cleared up more of the jester's body parts. :b
    I started pursuing Tarkovsky from the perspective of his critical comparison to Ingmar Bergman, so my first Tarkovsky film was actually The Sacrifice in 1987, then watched the rest of his films somewhat backwards. Of his films, Stalker is actually my favorite.
    Probably because Andrei Rublev was one of the last films that I had actually seen by Tarkovsky (and by that time, I had already developed some personal favorites), I'm not as attached to it as some people. I found Andrei Rublev to be somewhat distant, unlike Mirror, Nostalghia, and even Solaris, although I found that Tarkovsky's purely artistic exploration of the struggle for spirituality and art in an environment of chaos is quite humble and sincere.
     
  9. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    while I enjoyed Andrei Rublev a lot, I couldn't help feeling that a commentary (or something) to inform me of the significance of events and actions in the film would have helped significantly.
     
  10. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I agree with Nigel. I would have expected a commentary track to explain what the H*** was going on. I bought the Criterion disc and couldn't get too far past the bare ass scene on my first viewing. I was completely lost. I went to some sites and questioned my ex-history major friends on the period. I kind of had to force myself to attempt to watch it a second time. What a surprise when I did though. I kind of let myself get caught up in the film's flow and just loved it. In fact, it has some of the most impactful and memorable scenes I've ever experienced. Now, I can't wait to watch it again.
     
  11. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    But there is an excellent commentary on Criterion's RUBLEV disc by Harvard film professor Vlada Petric.

    Though he doesn't speak for the entire 3 hour duration of the film, you can access his (still rather lengthy) comments via the commentary index by subject. It's not scene-by-scene, but it's extraordinarily in-depth.

    And, as I recommend to everyone viewing "Rublev" for the first time (see my first post in this thread), look at the frickin' time-line before you watch it! Obviously, non-Russians aren't going to be as knowledgeable about Russian history, so this is an extraordinarily useful tool for getting your bearings. The timeline details the known facts of Rublev's life, the important events in Russian history as they relate to Rublev's time, as well as important details of Tarkovsky's life and important events in Russian (Soviet) history during that period.

    (And there are also clips of Petric discussing Tarkovsky and Rublev, film class style, as well as pertinent clips from a documentary on Tarkovsky.)

    In short, Criterion put together an amazingly comprehensive DVD. I don't know how you guys and gals missed this stuff.
     
  12. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    well my excuse is the theatre I watched it in didn't have a commentary audio track [​IMG]
     

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