Andrei Tarkovsky

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Trees
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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#226 Post by Trees » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:44 am

Numero Trois wrote:I totally doubt that any serious writer would discount a worthwhile artist over religious beliefs. You protest far too much.
You doubt that there are atheist "intellectuals" who will discount the work of religious people whose work is overtly religious?

Whether they are "serious" or not is hard to quantify.

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knives
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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#227 Post by knives » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:54 am

Ignoring you christian complex aside which seems to result in you ignoring all o the popular Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish works of the last few years to get angry at the supposed atheists your opinion still holds no water. Tarkovsky is clearly as popular (at least in english speaking territories as he's ever been with most complaints leveled against him having more to do with the difficulty of technique than religion. Even someone who pushes both technique and religion further then Tarkovsky ever did like Parajanov is having a (relatively) large increase in availability and popularity to where he was twenty years ago. The overwhelming popularity of Bergman and the fact we just got a The Prophet adaptation also do well to show that Christianity is not a barrier for respect nor success just abstraction.

So in short quit with the persecution complex as your argument isn't based in reality anyways and just be appreciative that the whole of his work is available (including his book) to you while we 'atheists' are hoping that more of Sokurov's work will be released.

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Trees
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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#228 Post by Trees » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:23 am

knives wrote:Ignoring you christian complex aside which seems to result in you ignoring all o the popular Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish works of the last few years to get angry at the supposed atheists your opinion still holds no water. Tarkovsky is clearly as popular (at least in english speaking territories as he's ever been with most complaints leveled against him having more to do with the difficulty of technique than religion. Even someone who pushes both technique and religion further then Tarkovsky ever did like Parajanov is having a (relatively) large increase in availability and popularity to where he was twenty years ago. The overwhelming popularity of Bergman and the fact we just got a The Prophet adaptation also do well to show that Christianity is not a barrier for respect nor success just abstraction.

So in short quit with the persecution complex as your argument isn't based in reality anyways and just be appreciative that the whole of his work is available (including his book) to you while we 'atheists' are hoping that more of Sokurov's work will be released.
I am an atheist myself, so I don't have a "Christian complex". However, being an atheist myself, I am aware of certain biases among some "atheist intellectuals" against overtly Christian people. I used to harbor some of these myself, but no longer do. Anyway, this thread is getting way off track. Some people here seem to adamantly deny that Tarkovsky's overt religiosity could have possibly had some minor negative affect among certain atheist intellectual film critics and writers. That's their opinion, and that's fine. My guess is that it has had some minor affect, but really, not a large enough one to get into a big debate about it. There are many other factors which might turn mainstream reviewers and opinion-makers away from Tarkovsky, primarily, in my opinion, how dense and difficult his films can be. Not every person reads Heidegger for fun on the weekends. Far more read John Grisham.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#229 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:35 am

Trees wrote:Some people here seem to adamantly deny that Tarkovsky's overt religiosity could have possibly had some minor negative affect among certain atheist intellectual film critics and writers.
It's more like the people here think you've been unable to prove that this is so.

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Trees
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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#230 Post by Trees » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:39 am

Mr Sausage wrote:
Trees wrote:Some people here seem to adamantly deny that Tarkovsky's overt religiosity could have possibly had some minor negative affect among certain atheist intellectual film critics and writers.
It's more like the people here think you've been unable to prove that this is so.
I never set out to prove it was so. I only offered it as one possible, minor factor, among many others. In fact I posed this possibility as a question rather than as an assertion, hoping others might have some opinions on the matter.

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knives
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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#231 Post by knives » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:00 am

Trees wrote:
knives wrote:Ignoring you christian complex aside which seems to result in you ignoring all o the popular Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish works of the last few years to get angry at the supposed atheists your opinion still holds no water. Tarkovsky is clearly as popular (at least in english speaking territories as he's ever been with most complaints leveled against him having more to do with the difficulty of technique than religion. Even someone who pushes both technique and religion further then Tarkovsky ever did like Parajanov is having a (relatively) large increase in availability and popularity to where he was twenty years ago. The overwhelming popularity of Bergman and the fact we just got a The Prophet adaptation also do well to show that Christianity is not a barrier for respect nor success just abstraction.

So in short quit with the persecution complex as your argument isn't based in reality anyways and just be appreciative that the whole of his work is available (including his book) to you while we 'atheists' are hoping that more of Sokurov's work will be released.
I am an atheist myself, so I don't have a "Christian complex". However, being an atheist myself, I am aware of certain biases among some "atheist intellectuals" against overtly Christian people. I used to harbor some of these myself, but no longer do. Anyway, this thread is getting way off track. Some people here seem to adamantly deny that Tarkovsky's overt religiosity could have possibly had some minor negative affect among certain atheist intellectual film critics and writers. That's their opinion, and that's fine. My guess is that it has had some minor affect, but really, not a large enough one to get into a big debate about it. There are many other factors which might turn mainstream reviewers and opinion-makers away from Tarkovsky, primarily, in my opinion, how dense and difficult his films can be. Not every person reads Heidegger for fun on the weekends. Far more read John Grisham.
You may have an opinion that is different than mine, but that doesn't make it an equal opinion.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#232 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:13 am

Trees wrote:
Mr Sausage wrote:
Trees wrote:Some people here seem to adamantly deny that Tarkovsky's overt religiosity could have possibly had some minor negative affect among certain atheist intellectual film critics and writers.
It's more like the people here think you've been unable to prove that this is so.
I never set out to prove it was so. I only offered it as one possible, minor factor, among many others. In fact I posed this possibility as a question rather than as an assertion, hoping others might have some opinions on the matter.
Do you see why people might have a problem with you making claims that you cannot prove and for which there is no evidence?

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#233 Post by George Drooly » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:17 am

Mr Sausage wrote:Do you see why people might have a problem with you making claims that you cannot prove and for which there is no evidence?
Like this?:
knives wrote:You may have an opinion that is different than mine, but that doesn't make it an equal opinion.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#234 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:23 am

I think there is probably evidence that not all opinions are equal (especially not simply because they're different), which is what I take knives to be saying, and I'm pretty sure knives could prove it.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#235 Post by knives » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:14 am

Without much effort too. For example if I were to say that I hold the opinion that all presidents of the US were communists as much as I believed that opinion to be a strong and tenable one that doesn't make it as realistic and good as the opinion that some of them were good at their job. The question here would be in proving if either I or trees fell into the later or former category (hence the neutral language) which would take up some argumentation, but that is where mine and other earlier posts serve a purpose.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#236 Post by YnEoS » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:55 am

Not all statements require "proof" to be asserted, its just that the discussion quickly exhausts its possible interest unless one is willing to take it to a more specific level of discussion. Its perfectly fine to assert a perception that Tarkovsky is undervalued, and people have responded appropriately and resoundingly that their perception is different. That's all perfectly fine if the discussion ends there, but continuing to insist about a perception without bringing more specific examples is offering no way for the discussion to advance.

To offer my personal experience with religious filmmakers, when I first got into film history I had a few biases against the ability for religious artists to make profound works of art. When I came across Ordet I remember asking around various film circles along the lines of "This was really great, but do the religious elements hinder the experience for anyone?" to which the response was resoundingly "No". So I quickly realized that I was being dumb and immature and it seemed silly to hold any biases against religious artists especially when faced with such compelling evidence that they clearly are capable of great art. So I will agree that there is a possibility for atheists to be biased against religious artists, but I've seen so little of it among cinephiles (perhaps because there are so many examples of great religious films?), that it seems trivial to discuss.

I don't think you'll find much interest in this topic on this board because most people here are more concerned about filmmakers who don't have any DVD releases at all. Quibbling over the perceived reputation between directors who have multiple Criterion DVD releases seems rather silly here. Even if you dig up an example of a person or community that excludes certain filmmakers on religious grounds, it won't be of much interest for discussion because most people here enjoy these filmmakers and aren't too concerned about if other peoples' personal biases are preventing them from enjoying good movies.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#237 Post by Cremildo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:21 am

Trees wrote:You doubt that there are atheist "intellectuals" who will discount the work of religious people whose work is overtly religious?
The Reverse Shot crew idolizes Terrence Malick. Go ask them if they're all believers.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#238 Post by Zot! » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:46 am

Tarkovsky was also famously championed by Bergman, who made a career out of his own atheism. I'm similarly not convinced that Tarkovsky is neglected by any segment of critical or intellectual community. Or even hipster coattail riders.

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Trees
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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#239 Post by Trees » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:21 am

Mr Sausage wrote:Do you see why people might have a problem with you making claims that you cannot prove and for which there is no evidence?
My OP did not make any claims or assertions. I posed a question:
I wonder if Tarkovky's overt Russian Christianity has had some negative effect on his historical stature? The kinds of "intellectuals" whose aggregate opinions author these rankings and lists might not be disposed to promote overtly religious filmmakers, especially not ones from Russia. You could argue that Malick seems to have escaped a similar brush-off from atheist intellectuals, but then again, you don't really see Malick dominating these lists either. Even if such a theory were correct, though, it would only partially explain away the issue ando has mentioned here. It could also be that Tarkovsky's films are indeed very dense and serious pieces of art that have either been overlooked, under appreciated or misunderstood by many film reviewers.
I was only speculating and asking questions, not making assertions or trying to prove anything. Even my OP is very clear in stating that if there was bias from atheists, the effect would be minimal. Just one small part of the puzzle, perhaps. I was only seeking to add one more possible factor into the equation that was being discussed by ando and others: why Tarkovsky was possibly perceived as being poorly represented on many of the "Greatest Director of all Time" lists. People seem to have a pretty strong reaction to my question and my attempt to raise the issue. It was not my intention to stir people up, just to discuss why Tarkovsky might not be as strongly represented on lists like these as, say, Kubrick.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#240 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:24 am

This is turning into the most useless thread in this forum. Not unless your first thought at the end of a movie is not to digest what you've seen but how it'll effect the director's internet "ranking.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#241 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:37 am

There are hundreds of worthy candidates for any "best director of all times list". Who makes it on to any given list is a function of the taste and breadth of knowledge of the list maker (or list voters) and chance/current fads. Why or why not any given director is on any given list (or worrying over where they place on a list) is not a matter of interest to most forum members -- except for the lists we ourselves make (and argue over).

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#242 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:41 am

Tarkovsky has long been one of my favorite directors, but somehow this discussion is making me value him less. So, um, mission accomplished?

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#243 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:26 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Why or why not any given director is on any given list (or worrying over where they place on a list) is not a matter of interest to most forum members -- except for the lists we ourselves make (and argue over).
And I think nearly all of us who participate in those would be the first to admit that we mainly value the forum lists for the opportunity to discuss various films and plan viewings in a slightly more organized and centralized fashion, as opposed to discovering any new shared metrics for taste.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#244 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:40 pm

Trees wrote:
Mr Sausage wrote:Do you see why people might have a problem with you making claims that you cannot prove and for which there is no evidence?
My OP did not make any claims or assertions. I posed a question:
I wonder if Tarkovky's overt Russian Christianity has had some negative effect on his historical stature? The kinds of "intellectuals" whose aggregate opinions author these rankings and lists might not be disposed to promote overtly religious filmmakers, especially not ones from Russia. You could argue that Malick seems to have escaped a similar brush-off from atheist intellectuals, but then again, you don't really see Malick dominating these lists either. Even if such a theory were correct, though, it would only partially explain away the issue ando has mentioned here. It could also be that Tarkovsky's films are indeed very dense and serious pieces of art that have either been overlooked, under appreciated or misunderstood by many film reviewers.
I was only speculating and asking questions, not making assertions or trying to prove anything. Even my OP is very clear in stating that if there was bias from atheists, the effect would be minimal. Just one small part of the puzzle, perhaps. I was only seeking to add one more possible factor into the equation that was being discussed by ando and others: why Tarkovsky was possibly perceived as being poorly represented on many of the "Greatest Director of all Time" lists. People seem to have a pretty strong reaction to my question and my attempt to raise the issue. It was not my intention to stir people up, just to discuss why Tarkovsky might not be as strongly represented on lists like these as, say, Kubrick.
You seem to've forgot that you were only speculating and asking questions by the time you came to write this:
trees wrote:My guess is that it has had some minor affect, but really, not a large enough one to get into a big debate about it.
Funny how in the same sentence that you admit that you believe it, you also try to forestall anyone from arguing with you about it, where you would no doubt have to give the proofs and evidences that you had no intention of giving us in the first place.

And even if you hadn't, do you not see why people might have more of a problem with you baselessly speculating about the motivations of others than if you had forwarded a claim that you had made a reasonable effort to support with evidence and argument?

All of your current positions and (pseudo)speculations are not tenable and are irritating everyone because you refuse to back down on them one inch. Nothing anyone else says, no reasonable bit of evidence to the contrary, has made you rethink what you've said. The most it has prompted is to've made you retreat from a later, stronger statement to the original qualfied one, pretend that you haven't retreated, and then only so you can downplay the effect and get everyone to move on--no sign of reconsidering the speculation (which is really your position) or admitting that it might not be tenable.

And this is to say nothing about your original proposition, which you have so far both come nowhere close to proving and nowhere close to reconsidering even a bit. Are you here to talk about ideas in fair debate or to convince everyone through sheer force of will that you, personally, are unable to be wrong?

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#245 Post by ermylaw » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:46 pm

While I think that lists are not adequate in themselves since they are based on subjective taste, there must be something about subjectivity that becomes objective at some point. Once a director or film reaches some level of subjective appreciation from individuals, that director or film becomes objectively recognized as "important." That is to say that subjectivity leads to objective recognition -- resulting in a more organized way to discuss these things, which seems to be helpful. The subjective taste of individuals is not completely meaningless insofar as it can inform objective recognition and awareness. The fact that the more from subjective taste to objective recognition has been made doesn't, it seems to me, to then reduce back to the subjective such that everyone's taste is in agreement with the objective view (if that makes sense).

I think the original question about whether a director might lose some objective recognition due to his religiosity is an interesting one. It does not seem that Tarkovksy has suffered in recognition, and therefore, it cannot be said that his religiosity (to the extent that supposition is correct) affected his recognition. There are other objectively acclaimed directors who are overtly religious whose reputation does not appear to have suffered as a result.

The question of whether religiosity would adversely affect an artist is interesting since much of art history seems to have been driven by religion. And that seems to be rather universal across cultures and religions. The idea that our modern age might not acclaim an artist on the basis of his religious influence is interesting from an historical and cultural perspective, as well as from a philosophical perspective (as in, what sort of inspiration makes for interesting art).

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#246 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:22 pm

domino harvey wrote: And I think nearly all of us who participate in those would be the first to admit that we mainly value the forum lists for the opportunity to discuss various films and plan viewings in a slightly more organized and centralized fashion, as opposed to discovering any new shared metrics for taste.
Indeed!

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#247 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:29 pm

ermylaw -- the question would only be interesting if one could actually point to any significant artistic figure whose work had -- in fact -- been disregarded (or seriously discounted) due to the artist's working out of his (or her) own religious concerns in their works. We are still waiting for a legitimate example (while several counter-examples have already been provided which suggest this is not a real issue).

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#248 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:39 pm

Kirk Cameron

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#249 Post by ermylaw » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:50 pm

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? But the answer isn't very interesting since it seems to be a rather simple "no." In fact, as we've discussed here, the converse seems to still be true--in a sense, people expect art to deal with important questions like religious faith. And that is interesting considering certain aspects of our modern culture and its purported movement away from religious faith. As a commentary on the state of our culture and to the extent that art and its acceptance and appreciation can be seen as representative of the state of the culture, I find it interesting that filmmakers who address these larger questions continue to gain in reputation at least partially as a result of their having done so.

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky

#250 Post by repeat » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:03 pm

For what it's worth, Timothy Clark has written about secularization and criticism in this rather pompously titled but very interesting paper, concerning the misreadings of Dumont's L'Humanité. My impression is that Malick gets occasionally poorly received for this reason, but Tarkovsky I would rather think of as an example of someone whom it seems curiously never to have affected. (Also I've practically never met anyone either in real life or online to whom Tarkovsky's name wasn't synonymous with something like the pinnacle of cinematic artistry, so I really have no clue what the original poster is on about)

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