Andrei Tarkovsky

I’ve been going through a little Tarkovsky run recently. The movies I saw were Zerkalo and Andrei Rublev. I was thinking as I began watching them that I wouldn’t enjoy them and they would just be a films that critics raved about yet most mainstream audiences would be put off due to their art house origins. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them. Make no mistake they are really hard going movies. Zerkalo in particular has no narrative structure to speak of it’s very much like a stream of consciousness book. It’s also incredibly autobiographical. Yet it ebbs and flows, the images are often striking and linger in the mind.

Rublev is similarly striking, when I first started watching it, I thought hang why is this in black and white? This is meant to be about the life of one of Russia’s greatest painters, his use of colour is astonishing. However it works extremely well, I also liked it because it didn’t turn into one of those films that tries to portray the creative process of the artist which has become almost a parody now in these types of films. In actual fact there is very little of Rublev throughout. There are however lots of violence, plague and horses….lots of horses. The director uses them to represent nature, creativity and vitality. The bell sequence in the last quarter of the movie is just astonishing.

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