Archive for June 22nd, 2021

 © 2021 James Clark

     The film, Andrei Rublev (1966), does so much more than shatter a routine. A veritable chronical of ancient Russia, we come to see how bad political power gets, not that contemporary power lacks massive dilemma. A wall of savagery, having to be reckoned with.

But our film has grasped upon a horror even more demanding than culture. It is that concern which Tarkovsky wants us to embrace in this masterpiece, which opens with two fearless men dying in vastly different circumstances.

What they have in common, is a thirst to plumb the intensities of their courage, a courage finding no resemblance among their companionship. The first endeavor consists of two massive stitch works from large beasts, linked to be introduced with hot air and thereby buoyancy. The most crucial element would be a pilot both skillful and intrepid. His supervision of the take-off affords understanding his vision and his daring. (The apparatus would be a mass of ropes, amidst which to possibly catch the heavens.) “Arkhips,” give me the strap!  Hold it!” Much confusion becomes the prelude of a short but intense understanding. He had been cheered by the otherwise mundane. “Come and help! Pull the rope! Hold on a second. Come on, quick! Come on fast! Lift it!” He rushes back into the church (being a take-off point with the town). “Lord, let it go right!” A horse goes passed the open doorway of the church. Another great heart. Untie it now!” Several men holding ropes for the unusual balloon. “The rope is tangled!” the fretful flyer declares. “Hold it!”/ “We won’t have enough time!”/ “I’m ready!” the risk-taker calls./ “Archipushkant! You try to hold them! Just a second… I’m here! Cut the rope, man! I’ll show you. Cut the rope!” (Cut to the four faces on the church wall.) “My God!” (Cries of shock and joy!) “I’m flying! I’m flying!” (Excitement on the ground. Pan over many boats. Pan over many militants.) “Hey! Chase me! Chase me!” (The speed of covering the areas. The tiny failing to look down on others. Sheep and goats… he laughing…) “My God! What is it?” (Shooting downward to death.) (more…)

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