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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


quote:

"Horses are a metaphor for the Russian people". (Chris Kelvin)



Being a Russian myself, I resent being called a horse. emoticon

Maria Pearse
5/30/2004, 6:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to questers   Send PM to questers
 
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posticon Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


I've always liked horses. emoticon
5/30/2004, 8:59 pm Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


On a more serious note, we want to make sure that everybody knows about Tarkovsky's production of the "Boris Godunov" opera on DVD (probably, most Tarkovsky fans do). He originally staged it for the Royal Opera House in London, then Kirov Opera in St. Petersburg picked it up already after his death and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Initially, I was very upset that the title role was given to a non-Russian in this all-Russian Kirov production. But to my surprise, I was totally won over by the depth of his characterization, despite the accent. The rest of the cast is equally superb, with everybody literally living out their roles on stage and with the incomparable Valery Gergiev conducting the whole thing.

Most importantly, Tarkovsky's staging is uniformly fascinating with undeniable touches of genius throughout. The only complaint I have is with the camera direction of this production. The director (Humphrey Burton) seems to have misjudged several shooting angles for some key scenes. Whenever the ghost of the murdered Tsarevitch appears, the camera moves in very closely on him, whereas it is much more important to see how he is placed in the overall mise-en-scene. This is particularly crucial in the scene of Tsar Boris' death, where one is, unfortunately, left to imagine just how incredible it must look from a far angle, when the ghost of the boy slowly passes from one end of the stage to the other.

Even if you don't care much for opera, you may want to check this out just for Tarkovsky's production and view it as a theater piece, since this is the only record of his theater work. It is fascinating to see how he handles something in theatrical rather than cinematic terms (as he believed them to be totally different mediums).

Maria Pearse
5/31/2004, 7:48 am Link to this post Send Email to questers   Send PM to questers
 
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


quote:

The issue for me isn't cruelty to animals in particular (often higly emotive and reactionary), it's cruelty per se. I just don't feel like it can be justified for artistic reasons, for entertainment ... well ... at all.



I agree. And the reason you won't find the Pearses agreeing is not because they are some great authority on man and the universe, but because they idolize artists like Tarkovsky and can barely bring themselves to criticize him, or see him as anything other than another sinner, a human.

With cruelty in movies, I've often wondered to what degree an actor should submit himself to the will of the director, or to what degree the director should try to persuade the actor to give himself emotionally to the role. There have been uncountable instances where an actor suffers on screen either by his will or the director's (you could say it's the actor's choice in almost all cases) for the sake of making greater art, or entertainment, or more money, and other reasons. But it is prostitution nonetheless, regardless of the noble aims involved. I can be particularly bothered when a child is made to cry and moan on screen when I know the child isn't capable of acting or understanding the play-act emotions adults are capable of. In many of these cases, the suffering of the child is real, no matter how well he has knowingly memorized lines that aren't his own.

Last edited by friendlessvoyage, 5/31/2004, 1:07 pm
5/31/2004, 1:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to friendlessvoyage   Send PM to friendlessvoyage
 
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


Prostitution is exactly what acting is. It's bringing out the pain and suffering. No one said acting would be a happy thing to do. But actors agree, so they know what they are up to and should accept this. But in the case of suffering animals and crying children I do feel uncomfortable when I see this.
5/31/2004, 2:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


Life is suffering.

As long as the acts themselves are not pornography (in a specific and general sense) then they can be justified. Children cry every day, millions of animals are killed every day. I take an animal being killed for meaningful art to be more justifiable than for the sake of feeding some greedy, obese McDonalds customers.
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


I don't believe that "Life is Suffering" at all although it seems that this kind of existentialism in philosophy is a response to the bleakness of world events and the realisation that in the 2000 years since Christ man has not found a reliable meaning to bring into effect in his existence beyond science. With respect to Andrei Rublev, although I have not seen the extra footage I found even the scenes with the horse falling in the Standard Version disturbing. Maybe it is true that no "extra tortures" were inflicted upon the animals, although I find that a little hard to believe. I admire the fact that Tarkovsky was an artist who went to extraordinary lengths to not compromise his vision on any issue, as shown by his arduous battle with the authorities. That said, I believe any extra suffering inflicted in the name of art would be wrong - in other words - I do not believe that "the end justifies the means". I have no way of knowing what Tarkovsky's inner attitude was towards the use of animals in his film. I think that is decisive in determining what threads of fate were spun at that time.
5/31/2004, 8:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to MarkNA   Send PM to MarkNA
 
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


Indeed! If being shoved onto a high collapsing platform when you're already in bad shape isn't a 'special torture' then I'll need that term explaining to me.

It would certainly make sense that this and the flaming bull were a reference to Picassos' Guernica ... but for me it's a bit too far.

However, Tarkovsky was eminently human and although I disagree I'm certainly prepared to make my personal peace with him on this issue. He was still something very special in the world of cinema and his films are still unlike no other.
6/7/2004, 5:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to PursuedByTrees   Send PM to PursuedByTrees
 
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/PassionacctoAndrei.html

Here's an unpublished interview with Andrei Tarkovsky on Andrei Rublev. He also talks about Picasso's Guernica, the cruelty in Andrei Rublev and about Pasolini's Gospel according to St. Matthew.
7/26/2004, 2:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky


Thought I'd add to the existing thread rather than start another one.

I just received a copy of the Criterion edition of The Killers. It has the Robert Siodmak, Don Segal and Tarkovsky versions.

Anyone know if There Will Be No Leave Tonight has been released anywhere?

... and yes, the Tarkovsky version of Hemmingways short story is by far and away the better of the three.
11/11/2004, 10:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to PursuedByTrees   Send PM to PursuedByTrees
 


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