Thursday, March 08, 2018
Wednesday, March 07, 2018
Stalker (1979): This indefinable story follows the journey of three men (a teacher and a writer, led by a guide) through "The Zone", a deserted place invaded by debris of civilization and vegetation, in which would find a room supposed to satisfy their most personal desires.
Solaris (1972) Part I & II: Sometimes referred to as the Russian counterpart of "2001 Space Odyssey", Solaris has little to do with Stanley Kubrick's film. Reflecting on nature, mourning and death, this fascinating science-fiction film is more like a psychological drama in space.
Tuesday, March 06, 2018
The Russian writer Andrei Gorchakov (Oleg Yankovsky) travels to Italy to research the life of 18th-century Russian composer Pavel Sosnovsky, who lived there and committed suicide after his return to Russia. He and his comely interpreter Eugenia travel to a convent in the Tuscan countryside, to look at frescoes by Piero della Francesca. Andrei decides at the last minute that he does not want to enter.
Back at their hotel Andrei feels displaced and longs to go back to Russia, but unnamed circumstances seem to get in the way. Eugenia is smitten with Andrei and is offended that he will not sleep with her, claiming that she has a better boyfriend waiting for her.
Andrei meets and befriends a strange man named Domenico (Erland Josephson), who is famous in the village for trying to cross through the waters of a mineral pool with a lit candle. He claims that when finally achieving it, he will save the world. They both share a feeling of alienation from their surroundings. Andrei later learns that Domenico used to live in a lunatic asylum until the post-fascistic state closed them and now lives in the street. He also learns that Domenico had a family and was obsessed in keeping them inside his house in order to save them from the end of the world, until they were freed by the local police after seven years. Before leaving, Domenico gives Andrei his candle and asks him if he will cross the waters for him with the flame.
During a dream-like sequence, Andrei sees himself as Domenico and has visions of his wife, Eugenia and the Madonna as being all one and the same. Andrei seems to cut his research short and plans to leave for Russia, until he gets a call from Eugenia, who wishes to say goodbye and tell him that she met Domenico in Rome by chance and that he asked if Andrei has walked across the pool himself as he promised. Andrei says he has, although that is not true. Eugenia is with her boyfriend, but he seems uninterested in her and appears to be involved in dubious business affairs. Later, Domenico delivers a speech in the city about the need of mankind of being true brothers and sisters and to return to a simpler way of life. Finally, he plays the fourth movement of Beethoven's Ninth and immolates himself. Meanwhile, Andrei returns to the mineral pool to fulfill his promise, only to find that the pool has been drained. He enters the empty pool and repeatedly attempts to walk from one end to the other without letting the candle extinguish. As he finally achieves his goal, he collapses.
Andreï Rublev (1966) part I & II: In this biography of a painter of religious icons, Tarkovsky realizes a realistic but grandiose portrait of Russian fifteenth century, and delivers a meditation on the religious conflict, the role of the art and the power of nature.
Monday, March 05, 2018
Ivan's childhood :For his first feature film, awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Andrei Tarkovsky follows the cruel adventures of a scouting boy in the Russian army. The marks of his cinema are already there: images of a powerful beauty, a pronounced taste for contemplation and a poetic staging of the difficulties of existence.