Seven year old Sasha practices violin every day to satisfy the ambition of his parents. Already withdrawn as a result of his routines, Sasha quickly regains confidence when he accidentally ... See full summary »
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Tarkovsky mixes flash-backs, historical footage and original poetry to illustrate the reminiscences of a dying man about his childhood during World War II, adolescence, and a painful divorce in his family. The story interweaves reflections about Russian history and society. Written by
To create the effect of the wind making waves through the crops in the field outside the cabin in the woods, Tarkovsky had two helicopters land behind the camera and switch on the rotors when he wanted the wind to start. See more »
During the last scene when the grandmother is accompanying the two children through a field, and the camera backtracks itself into dark woods,on the lower right portion of screen, the gleaming camera tracks are visible for a few seconds. See more »
It seems to make me return to the place, poignantly dear to my heart, where my grandfathers house used to be in which i was born 40 years ago right on the dinner table. Each time i try to enter it, something prevents me from doing that. I see this dream again and again. And when i see those walls made of logs and the dark entrence, even in my dream i become aware that I'm only dreaming it. And the overwhelming joy is clouded by anticipation of awakening. At times something happens and i stop ...
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I found this film quite difficult to get into since I'm more used to conventional plot driven narratives, a concept that was anathema to Tarkovsky. Certainly the Soviet authorities did their best to limit the venues where this film could be seen, condemning it's personal nature as decadent, self-indulgent and against the formal traditions of Soviet cinema, a cinema which Tarkovsky himself did not have a good word for. Russians who did see it sent many letters to the director saying how much it affected them and mirrored their own childhood experiences. Tarkovsky himself had difficulty in 'finding' his film during production, and originally worried that it would not work. Many critics questioned whether the images were symbolic in some way, but Tarkovsky dismissed symbolism as decadent. He sited Japanese writers of the middle ages rejecting such things. He had no time for surrealism either, pointing out that Dali himself had rejected the concept as facile. And yet the pull of dreams are un-mistakable in this work. Tarkovsky stated that the artist himself does not necessarily know the meaning of an image but is compelled to express his vision.
Despite some of the problems in viewing this film there are plenty of moving and mysterious moments, not least the wistful and melancholic look on the face of the mother as she lays in the grass, contemplating her children's future.
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