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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 9:07 am 
Not PETA approved
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MichaelB wrote:
A case in point being František Vláčil, revered in his native Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic since the 1960s, but whose work was pretty much off limits to non-Czech speakers until less than a decade ago.

Even Trees' list of Russian masters bears this out. What survives in other countries is what translates best, so Dostoevsky is still around (and was much more fashionable in America than Russia for a long time), while Russia's national poet, Pushkin, is fairly unknown, despite the attempts of a few luminaries to fix this, because he translates poorly. Trees' list is anglocentric (except for the shout-out to Gogol over the more well known Turgenev).

Critical fashions come and go; it's still too soon to say how Tarkovsky will fare in 100 years. I'm rooting for him, too, but these kinds of predictions are so pointless. But even if it happens, he may have to pass through through an age skeptical of or even hostile to stylists. Indeed, stylists in general may fare poorly in the future, and Tarkovsky and a lot of other worthies will be forgotten as mannered artists exemplifying the tastes of an age. Or not, and the beauty of the emotion he evokes will see him through. There's no way to know.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:46 pm 
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Mr Sausage wrote:
What survives in other countries is what translates best, so Dostoevsky is still around (and was much more fashionable in America than Russia for a long time), while Russia's national poet, Pushkin, is fairly unknown.....

This reminds me of a quote from the character Gorchakov in Nostalgia: "Poetry is untranslatable...." In Mirror, for example, I think just the sound and tone and feeling of the spoken words in the poetry that begins around the 12-minute mark are every bit as powerful as the words themselves, when translated to English.


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 Post subject: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:15 am 
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As Mr Sausage says, literary tastes can sometimes be markedly different in the authors' home countries. In the West, Milan Kundera is most likely the first name many of us think of when it comes to great contemporary Czech literature, but Czechs themselves are much cooler about him and tend to prefer the far more locally colloquial Bohumil Hrabal.

And Hungary's Gyula Krúdy is utterly revered at home but all but untranslatable abroad - pretty much every translator's intro I've read in connection with his work has apologised for the shortcomings of their contribution. But Krúdy's prose is so indelibly linked to the very specific (and unique) nature of the Hungarian language that it's pretty much impossible to render into another one - apparently a favourite technique of his was to pack his sentences with echoes of other phrases (often archaic ones) that were supposed to resonate with the reader, often on a subconscious level. It's that multi-layered linguistic richness that's very very hard to convey in another language, at least not without departing substantially from the original text.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:39 am 
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Image

Image

I offer these frames as evidence that Tarkovsky did not de-value humor, despite his own words.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:58 am 

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I thought he put one joke in each film.
There's the classic telephone double-take in Stalker, and Snaut's comment "I can never get used to all these resurrections" in Solaris.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:07 am 
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There are quite a few jokes in Stalker in particular, only you ideally need to be both Russian and someone with adult memories of the Soviet Union to even recognise them as such, never mind decipher them.

But Vida T. Johnson's fascinating essay "Laughter Beyond the Mirror: Humour and Satire in the Cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky" (included in Andrew Horton's anthology Inside Soviet Film Satire: Laughter with a Lash) does a pretty good job of laying out the basics.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:01 pm 
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I recall the jokes being more humorous for how much they break from the otherwise heavy sustained mood of the film. One that's been singled out occurs on the threshold of the Room, as the characters are pondering the mysteries of existence. A phone rings, and the professor answers: "Hello? No, this is not the clinic!"


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:49 pm 

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hearthesilence wrote:
I recall the jokes being more humorous for how much they break from the otherwise heavy sustained mood of the film. One that's been singled out occurs on the threshold of the Room, as the characters are pondering the mysteries of existence. A phone rings, and the professor answers: "Hello? No, this is not the clinic!"

The in-joke to end all in-jokes


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:36 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
There are quite a few jokes in Stalker in particular, only you ideally need to be both Russian and someone with adult memories of the Soviet Union to even recognise them as such, never mind decipher them.


And the source - Roadside Picnic - is frequently quite funny, too. I wonder if the first, lost version of the film had more humor?


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:07 pm 
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A video......Sculpting Time - Introduction to Tarkovsky's Solaris by Will Self


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:56 am 
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I've always felt Stalker to be full of funny moments, Nostalghia too for that matter has some humor in it.

MichaelB wrote:
A case in point being František Vláčil, revered in his native Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic since the 1960s, but whose work was pretty much off limits to non-Czech speakers until less than a decade ago.
Michael, when you say revered do you mean by their film community or by the public as a whole?


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:15 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
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FrauBlucher wrote:

Thanks, FrauBlucher. Interesting insights. I've never considered the film as Tarkovsky's illustration of the ways in which love, particularly love that is projected and demanded by the lover, fails. But it seems obvious now (Course, I haven't had 40 viewings like our commentator). Is Tarkovsky's saying that that kind of "love" is doomed to fail? Is he questioning it in general? In other words, are humans limited to their projections? Are we not able to go beyond them - psychologically/spiritually or are we simply incapable of seeing that we are source of our projections? Brings to mind a section of Auden's verse from Friday's Child:

The self-observed observing Mind
We meet when we observe at all
Is not alarming or unkind
But utterly banal.

Though instruments at our command
Make wish and counter-wish come true,
We clearly cannot understand
What we can clearly do.


It seems to delineate the humor and pathos in Stanislaw Lem's satire and to a lesser extent, Tarkovsky's film. I'm not sure if this kind of insight happens with Kris in Tarkovsky's treatment. I feel Kris is left, much like the audience, looking outward (the Solaris ocean, especially) for the cause of his malaise, not inward (his self or the self as a psychological phenomena) in the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:05 pm 
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Not sure if this has been mentioned already but some of Tarkovski's Polaroids will be auctioned next week in London. For those who don't have the deep pockets needed to buy them, the catalogue is worth it, and I think can be downloaded as a pdf file
https://www.bonhams.com/press_release/22294/


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Please forgive me if I have overlooked this discussion here:

The Mirror - Bluray. There are some editions out there, some region B, some without English subs (IVC, MOSFILM). Is there a consensus on which Blu is best? Thanks.

(PS: This is one film where I would be quite happy to view without English subs.)


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:07 am 
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I believe the Artificial Eye is as good as any for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:41 pm 
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I really dig the movie poster promoting the Sacrifice in NYC currently:

Image

But, I was digging around and noticed that Tarkovsky used miniatures, but why?

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ca/3d/94 ... 2f51c7.jpg
https://people.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/no ... delno4.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8d/19/73 ... f2888a.jpg

Was this what he used for the burning scene? Maybe to learn some lessons from the Mirror?

And, if he used it for the burning, did he just superimpose the people as seen in the poster above? It's been 10 years since I saw this film


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:06 pm 
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I would imagine someone as meticulous as Tarkovsky probably did immense amounts of planning for it. He actually had to do the burning scene twice. The first time the camera didn't work once the burning commenced. It burned to the ground and another house had to be built.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:13 pm 
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If I remember rightly, the miniature house in the foreground of the full-sized house is part of one of the earlier dream sequences.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:36 pm 
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the miniature was a model house made by the mute child as a birthday gift, I believe. Tarkovsky always loved to use miniatures, or small staged scenes (Stalker has one that is a bunch of moss surrounding a mirror that reflects the sky).


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Yes, the miniature house is in the film, shown from the same angle as in the first photograph with the full-size house in the background. Nostalghia also has a great use of a miniature home in the final shot. As shown in the making-of documentary included with the KINO Blu-ray of The Sacrifice, Tarkovsky burned down the full-size house for the climax...then, learning that one of the cameras had jammed, had the house rebuilt so he could burn it down a second time.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:09 am 

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I recently saw The Sacrifice again - for at least the third time, but this was the first time I felt like I got it.

It's a somewhat mysterious and profoundly spiritual film, with a few aspects that aren't readily explained. What stands out to me is something I hardly know how to express. It seems to be overshadowed in a unique way by death - not the death of individuals, but death as an overwhelming destructive force that fills the world with futility and terror. No apocalypse movie could embody that cold clutch of fear the way a TV announcement, a few airplane noises, and some full-body shots of people moving around in a sparsely furnished room do here.

It's probably too easy to mythologize the making of this film, but it's impossible to ignore the idea of Tarkovsky, dying of cancer, finishing the editing of this film as one of his last acts before death. And apparently when you're Tarkovsky, and you are yourself dying, you can do more than show death. You can also make people imagine that self-sacrifice might be real and effective, not just heroic, that life can somehow return and go on, and in a way that's totally compelling no matter what it lacks in metaphysical logic, you can dedicate your last work to the future "with hope and confidence."

I realize it's my own state of mind and the geopolitical situation that makes this seem so compelling right now, but still. What a gift this film is.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:41 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:28 pm
I saw the 4K DCP restoration of Offret today.

I have the following comments. Please keep in mind that I am extremely biased toward 35mm. I have seen this in 35mm 10+ times.

Overall, the DCP seems to attempt to be grainy. Some films are grainy, some aren't. Sacrifice is not grainy.

The film has three color schemes, color, drained color and a few B&W "fantasy" sequences.

The color in the DCP is less vibrant than the 35mm. Also, as is very common with DCP restorations, the background detail is fuzzy. In the opening shot (I believe the longest shot in AT's career), the facial features of anyone not in closeup are fuzzy. This shot is crucial to the film.

The drained color in the DCP is too drained, and too dark. In some night scenes it is effectively B&W. The use of drained color was, I believe, made to suggest that the drained color portion (everything after the milk jar spillage to Alexander waking up) is, or could be, a dream or fantasy. I strongly dislike this approach to narrative. But at least in the 35mm, the drained color is less obvious and can be interpreted as an effect of lower light levels. In the DCP, it is very obvious that we are in a totally different filmic world.

Sound design is extremely important to this film. The DCP captures this perfectly.

The restoration was done by the French. The opening credits, film title, and touching final dedication are rendered in French rather than Swedish. Did AT intend this? No.

As for the film itself, I find it to be great, but flawed, not necessarily in a bad way. I was inspired to read a few blog posts about the Nietzschean elements to the film, which have been ignored by mainstream reviews. To a degree, they definitely illuminated aspects to the film I had previously ignored. I believe the opening shot of this film, and the dialogue in this shot, are critically important to understanding what AT was attempting to achieve in this film.

EDIT: some of my issues may be due to Walter Reade projecting the DCP at a light level that was too low. WR's digital projection seems first rate to me. I don't know enough about the technicalities of DCP projection to know how brightness levels of DCPs can be set, if at all.


Last edited by J Adams on Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:44 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:25 am
So when will we get 4K ZERKALO!?


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