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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Great artists deal with important issues (such as those of faith) in interesting ways, rather than in a simplistic reductionist fashion. I would say that important artists with strong religious interests typically create works that are more complex than their explicitly expressed beliefs (which is why they ARE important -- rather than hacks). So, simply knowing that Tarkovsky (and Dostoevsky, for instance) were devout Orthodox Christians and Rohmer was a devout Catholic tells us only a little about how we should respond to their work.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:24 pm 
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repeat wrote:
My impression is that Malick gets occasionally poorly received for this reason


Here's an interesting piece that suggests serious and insightful critics do engage and "appreciate" the religious aspect of Malick's work. The rejoinder (by someone who argued Malick was undervalued) was simply to point to the assessments by "mainstream" reviewers in "high circulation" media.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christandp ... he-wonder/


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:26 pm 
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Dumont of course if anyone is a devout atheist, but reading his work "correctly" still requires some familiarity with the history of religious art, and what's suggested in that article is that he gets misinterpreted by critics who don't have that familiarity because of a secularist or anti-religious bias. I don't have a horse in this race but I think it's an interesting phenomenon and worth considering


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:29 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
repeat wrote:
My impression is that Malick gets occasionally poorly received for this reason

Here's an interesting piece that suggests serious and insightful critics do engage and "appreciate" the religious aspect of Malick's work.

Thanks for the link! I know they do, but I've also seen quite the contrary happening (esp. regarding Tree of Life - which I still haven't seen by the way, so I'll maybe get back to this discussion when I'm better equipped...)


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:59 pm 
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ermylaw wrote:
Michael, I still think the question is interesting: Do we live in a time where one's religiosity could adversely impact the appreciation of his or her art?


Obviously, the answer is affirmative, especially when dealing with religious-minded lunatics like Kyle Smith and Armond White, who respectively decried Philomena and Spotlight on the grounds that the films were but an unfair attack on their holy Church.

As for Tarkovsky not being considered one of the greats because of rancid, prejudiced atheist critics, well... Let me repeat: show us the receipts.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:08 am 
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I seem to be drawn to religious filmmakers like Tarkovsky, Bresson and Malick, though I am not religious myself. I think what I am really drawn to are films with a strong spiritual impact, and directors such as the aforementioned seem perhaps to prioritize spiritual themes and motifs. They seek out the spiritual in their daily lives, and wish to imbue their work with that which matters most to them -- these transcendent spiritual themes and images. Another filmmaker who comes to mind is Ron Fricke, a practicing Buddhist. I would consider "Baraka" to be a highly spiritual film, for example.

This is not to say that non-religious filmmakers are incapable of making films with a strong spiritual impact. Darren Aronofsky lists himself as an atheist, yet his film "The Fountain" is one of the most spiritual films I've ever experienced.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:49 am 
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Numero Trois wrote:
Trees wrote:
In other forms of art, such literature, painting and music, you do not often see overtly religious artists being promoted by mainstream or "intellectual" reviewers in newspapers and magazines, for example.

And your examples, please? Off the top of my head one modern religious artist that comes to mind is Arvo Pärt- he certainly has not lacked for press coverage in the NY Times Arts section or other publications for that matter.

It's also well worth noting that Krzysztof Kieślowski's more overtly metaphysical films - The Double Life of Véronique, the Three Colours trilogy - were vastly more successful than their predecessors, especially internationally. And equally worth noting that Dekalog was explicitly marketed as a religious TV series in some countries - in Britain, it was initially screened on television as The Ten Commandments.

Not that I'm dismissing this "Tarkovsky is sidelined because he was religious" theory tout court, but I haven't seen even the tiniest smidgen of evidence that actually supports it (or indeed any convincing evidence that Tarkovsky has been sidelined in the kind of cinephile circles that would recognise his particular brand of cinema in the first place).


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:14 am 
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I don't think it has been posted here yet but Nick James, editor of Sight and Sound, has written an interesting piece about Tarkovsky's legacy which gives a fairly clear indication of his standing among UK critics at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:21 am 
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It's been very high since the early 1970s, but went through the roof with the near-simultaneous release of Mirror and Stalker circa 1980-1 - and really hasn't diminished since.

Unlike, say, Krzysztof Kieslowski, who doesn't seem to be anywhere near as much of a universally-respected critical darling as he was 20-25 years ago - at least not in Britain.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:03 am 
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Like most people here, I have serious reservations about the idea of ranking directors but I do think it's interesting to see how the critical stock of certain directors rises and falls.

I suspect Tarkovsky has retained his status partly because of the relatively small number of his films, the extent which you can identify them as being by Tarkovsky very quickly (style and content, I suppose), the influence cited in Nick James' article and the general sense of a kind of transcendence, but one which seems anchored in an almost tactile materialism (which you can also see in Bresson, Malick and, I think, the Dardennes, for example), which seems very current in 'arthouse' cinema at present (e.g. Alonso, Serra). I was at the London Film Festival showing of The Sacrifice in either 1985 or 1986 (can't remember exactly) and there was a genuine sense of almost reverence which doesn't appear to have diminished in the years since.

Other directors who were very highly regarded at the same time (e.g. Visconti and, possibly, Fassbinder) seem to have fallen in levels of critical regard. I think possibly the use of melodramatic elements in their work doesn't fit as well within the current art film parameters so they could easily come back into fashion at some point.

I wonder why Kieslowski's critical status has changed. There's the same interest in metaphysics and realism, particularly in the later films, but I suppose there is the contrast with the films funded in Poland and a possible loss of cultural specificity when the films became transnational.

For what it's worth, I like all the directors I've cited and wouldn't want to rank them but the issue of why the critical consensus flows up and down for particular directors does interest me.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:30 am 
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Irish Film Institute planning a Tarkovsky retrospective in March. Any idea what their venues are like?

Quote:
"All seven of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s feature films have been newly digitised, and to celebrate this, the IFI will screen the entire back catalogue, one of the most important in world cinema, and will give a week’s run to Mirror (1975), in March."

http://www.scannain.com/irish/irish-eve ... 2016-plans


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:32 am 
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Excellent news! I had no idea, thanks for posting.

The IFI is one of the only two cinemas I ever go to (the other one being the Lighthouse). What exactly do you mean by "what their venues are like"? Quality of the projections? Sound installation? Size? Number of seats? Available facilities?

You can have a look at this page (+ click the links at the bottom) for more information.

It is a small but lovely place with a very unique atmosphere. Perfect for these kinds of event. They showed a print of Stalker there last year and it was a very nice experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:16 pm 
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NCFilm wrote:
Excellent news! I had no idea, thanks for posting.

The IFI is one of the only two cinemas I ever go to (the other one being the Lighthouse). What exactly do you mean by "what their venues are like"? Quality of the projections? Sound installation? Size? Number of seats? Available facilities?

You can have a look at this page (+ click the links at the bottom) for more information.

It is a small but lovely place with a very unique atmosphere. Perfect for these kinds of event. They showed a print of Stalker there last year and it was a very nice experience.


Oh this looks great.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:24 am 
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Any idea when exact dates will be announced for this IFI retrospective? March is coming up pretty soon. I would so much love to attend.

http://www.ifi.ie/2016/02/ifi-announces ... ctivities/


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:52 am 
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The IFI usually announce their schedule for any given month on the last week of the previous one, so unfortunately you may have to wait until Feb. 22nd - 29th to get a definitive answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:48 am 
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This is an interesting 1-hour documentary called "The Sacrifices of Andrei Tarkovsky":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4HgQ0zDP08

Has there ever been any speculation that Tarkovsky himself sabotaged the original negatives from "Stalker" because he was unhappy with the results and wanted to reshoot? I'm not suggesting that he did; I am just wondering if this has ever been discussed? This documentary is saying that he was happy when he learned the negatives were unusable, though I have read totally opposite accounts saying he was devastated.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:06 am 
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FYI, I got a note from Sharon Corrigan at IFI saying the AT retrospective has been delayed until May of this year. Details to be announced in April.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:54 am 
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Good to hear. I'll look forward to seeing all seven. Rublev, no matter what.

Until tonight I had no idea Aleksandr Sokurov made a film on Tarkovsky - or a film about the legacy of Tarkovsky: Moskovskaya Elegiya (Moscow Elegy), 1987. There's a version up on YT. Has anyone who's seen it care to comment? I was directed to it by this interesting Tarkovsky documentary article on offscreen.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:40 pm 
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Image

I watched The Mirror for the first time last summer, and it basically went straight to #1 on my all-time list of greatest films. I wonder if there are others here who also feel the same way about The Mirror. I don't think I have ever seen a better film. He's touching things that other directors can't reach.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:21 pm 
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Siskel and Ebert review "The Sacrifice".


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:53 am 
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So here's more info about the Tarkovsky retrospective at the IFI:

The Mirror - Opens May 20th
From the wording I assume this is a regular release, meaning there'll be multiple shows.

It looks like all the other movies will just get one show each:
Ivan's Childhood - May 14th at 3pm
Andrei Rublev - May 15th at 3pm
Solaris - May 18th at 8pm
Stalker - May 21st at 3.30pm
Nostalgia - May 25th at 8.30pm
The Sacrifice - May 28th at 3.20pm


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 1:18 am 
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Trees wrote:
Image

I watched The Mirror for the first time last summer, and it basically went straight to #1 on my all-time list of greatest films. I wonder if there are others here who also feel the same way about The Mirror. I don't think I have ever seen a better film.

The Mirror is probably most well regarded film, worldwide; certainly, among Russians. I can't watch it because of the actress who plays the mother. While she's an obviously beautiful woman her presumptuousness is horrible. Her presence ruins other aspects of the film that I admire. But her character is absolutely central to the film so I obviously don't revisit it much.

Btw, The Irish Fim Institute (here in NYC) has posted their screenings of Tarkovsky 7 full feature films titled, Sculpting in Time, starting with Ivan's Childhood on Saturday, May 14.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 2:44 pm 
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I don't think what you linked us to is New York.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:33 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
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Dublin. Apologies! Got it mixed with The Irish Arts Center, which does have film screenings, just not Tarkovsky this month. (Didn't see NCFilm's post.)

What is true and great is the reportedly frame-by-frame restoration (from a 2K scan of the negative) of Salaris by Mosfilm Cinema Concern producer, Karen Shakhnazarov, which will be screened among other restorations at The Cannes Film Festival starting May 11. (Funny - I was just revisiting Solaris last night after being somewhat disappointed with an earlier viewing of Ex machina.) Hopefully, a new version of the film will be released on blu-ray and/or a special features dvd soon.

And in June The Shanghai International Film Festival will screen all 7 of Tarkovsky's feature films as well. Shanghai. ha


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Good entry on Tarkovsky which includes a link to an impressive 15 minute tribute to the late filmmaker (currently making something of a splash on YT) and an article analysing his favorite films.


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