Archive for May 12th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USSR 1966/1988 205m) DVD1 (DVD2 only 180m version)

The bells!

T.Ogorodnikova  d  Andrei Tarkovsky  w  Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, Andrei Tarkovsky  ph  Vadim Yusov  ed  Ludmila Fegenova  m  Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov  art  Evgeni Chernaiev 

Anatoly Solonitsin (Andrei Rublev), Ivan Lapikov (Kirill), Nikolai Sergeyev (Teophan, the Greek), Irma Rauch (Durochka, the girl), Nikolai Burlyaev (Little Boris Bouska), Yuri Nazarov (The Grand Prince/his brother), Rolan Bykov (jester), Yuri Nikulin (Patrikey),

Never in the history of cinema has there been such an odyssey.  The story is essentially simple; Russian iconographer Andrei Rublev (1360-1420) travels around medieval Russia with his on-off companions observing the local lives and rituals of his countrymen, climaxing with the casting of a great bell for a local church by a young boy who does it on blind faith. 

            The film works on so many levels that it’s difficult to describe it.  Firstly as a portrait of the icon painter and his continual search for inspiration and spiritual redemption.  Secondly as a study of how an artist must be seen to observe the world as a bystander rather than become embroiled in its daily struggles.  Thirdly as a simple acknowledgement that the artist is seen by his friends and contemporaries to be not doing God’s work if he does not use his God given talent to the best of his ability.  Fourthly as a stunning series of unrelated set pieces; the opening balloon flight, the bell casting, the pagan ritual, the battle, the crucifixion in the snow and the final burst into colour to show the surviving icons.  Finally, as a study of the barren bleak nature and savagery of medieval life, it is perhaps only equalled by Vlacil’s Czech epic Marketa Lazarova, but that film had little to do with faith.  (more…)

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