397 Ivan's Childhood

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood

#126 Post by solaris72 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:59 am

I think I remember hearing at some point that Kino had the DVD rights for Stalker but not the blu-ray rights.

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Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood

#127 Post by Kat » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:43 am

Our film group is half way through a series of "Russian" films, though this first half is strictly speaking Soviet and "Russian" I think isn't correct, must mention that to tutor. It was good to see Ivan's Childhood within that context and projected much larger than my pretty big tv.

I have the Criterion disc and have watched it. I was taken by Knives comments about the shock of the rolling Ivan near the end, I found it shocking like that too. Overall I'd come to see the film as his most conventional and maybe my least favourite. The films we watched before this were 'The Cranes Are Flying' and 'Ballad of a Soldier' -- both films to love I thought, they have poetry, they seem to rediscover the validity of individual feeling from the narrative of politics, in itself a political thing in the thaw. In a way I saw a theme of how they discover life in the face of death.

So I turned up to watch 'Ivan's Childhood' with my memory of the shocking ending (linked to the shot of the Gestapo execution chamber) all ready to argue how it somehow discovered death, harshness, in the midst of life (sad eh). Yet that rolling shot was not the same on the projection, as I had remembered it - I saw more of his shoulders, so it lost some of that shock of it being his head. (I've just had my Criterion returned to me by a friend and must go through to see how it looks, I am sure I replayed that shot at the time I first saw it, wondering how it was made, want to see just what I can see.) And perhaps this is by the bye -- as for me the imagery of the bucket is key to this too (and the well) -- that the shot was less shocking to me doesn't change my thoughts of his possible end (whatever may have been read from a file)...But I felt far more fully on this viewing that this film too discovers life in the face of death. He laps from the bucket, there is water in it, a star in the well -- I was misreading it in my own shock. I also read the film far more as wholly consistent with his later work than I had - yes he would develop...as is shown in his book, which as I remember it emerged too over his life (I found it turned, or again maybe it was my reading that did), alongside the films (I felt his initial wish to have a non theory or beyond theory almost was flirting with becoming theory and stuck in itself but overcame this and embraced life). I also thought that next to those earlier films by others, which I am very admiring of, that whilst they discover some poetry, the validity of feeling then this film turns this up many a notch, to be wholly poetic . . . war as experienced poetically.

I also think of the whole film as possibly a flashback given its ending.

I've no least favourite Tarkovsky. Madness to have thought.

The comment about films taken over by a second director (I didn't know that about this, hadn't sunk in) but made me think of Spartacus.

The next two films we saw were 'Commissar' and 'Come and See' both worthy of threads I do not see (I'm not very good at searching). The latter especially almost impossible to simply comment on in my joining the dots of life way, for what it represented, though maybe we must, to stop such. Commissar also staggered me. We've ended the war theme and move on to much more recent films next.

I was struck by all the films how well they inhabit themselves - how well understood and worked through their content was -- how well they placed us in their context, even in small yet vivid touches. There is a shot of Ivan being driven somewhere, we watch him looking out of the window, two soldiers are walking across a muddy field, a tiny thing but in this film and in all these films I felt very convincingly put into their context, very vivid. In Commissar life with the family almost seemed fly on the wall documentary. In Come and See, my goodness, the strength to have witnessed such and be able to show.

I've drifted.

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