DIRECTOR:                     ANDREI TARKOVSKY
COUNTRY:                     RUSSIA 1992
MUSIC:                           VIACHESLAV OVCHINNIKOV
CAST:                             Anatoly Solonitsin, Ivan Lapikou, Nikolai Grinko
SUPER FEATURES:       It's a Russian film...

While I find this film rather good, and just crying to be great, there is a sad thing seen here..... and it is hard to tell if it is an ageing film community in Russia that is now trying to find its spark with a new identity, or, is it that the rapid changes in the Soviet Union have caused the film community to fall apart, and it takes an effort by the likes of a Tarkovsky, to keep it alive.

There are several lapses in the print I saw, which seem to indicate that there are a few problems in that industry. The soundtrack is terribly disjointed and more than once there are no sounds that appear that have absolutely nothing to do with the events on the screen. And the voice track is also severely off sync in various spots, through out the vignettes in this film.

SYNC... that seems to be the theme if this rather long, but interesting exercise in the development of a film that is done in 9 vignettes ( that's how many I counted ) that cover about 23 years in the life of Andrei Rublev, and what may have helped the painter come up with the art style that he used to paint the Trinity church in St. Petersburg.

The time is between 1400 and 1423, an unstable time in Russian history (as it was when the film was being done...) and Andrei has been commissioned to paint the cathedral -- but he is lacking the inner desire, or the vision, to make his work come alive, and it takes him nearly 20 years to get to the church for which his name is now imprinted in art history books.

With a very typical Russian style of acting -- very serious -- long monologues -- very detailed speech -- very thoughtful (i.e... heads looking upwards) -- this film does not really bore the viewers despite its near four hours, as much as it leaves us wondering where this story is taking us. Possibly to the same discoveries that Andrei Rublev had to go through.

The tradition of the Russian film is quite alive, even in the visual style of Tarkovsky, something which allows the actors plenty of space to work with, who are obviously well rehearsed, and do a fine job, even in dual roles for at least four or five actors.

It is a good film, but are we ready for philosophy in movement, rather than a story about a philosophy...??? That is Tarkovskey.





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