The Russian poet Andrei Gorchakov, accompanied by guide and translator Eugenia, is traveling through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer. In an ancient spa town, ... See full summary »
During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care... See full summary »
Like the Russian poet of 'Nostalghia', who, accompanied by his Italian guide and translator, traveled through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer, Andrei ... See full summary »
The Russian poet Andrei Gorchakov, accompanied by guide and translator Eugenia, is traveling through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer. In an ancient spa town, he meets the lunatic Domenico, who years earlier had imprisoned his own family in his house for seven years to save them from the evils of the world. Seeing some deep truth in Domenico's act, Andrei becomes drawn to him. In a series of dreams, the poet's nostalgia for his homeland and his longing for his wife, his ambivalent feelings for Eugenia and Italy, and his sense of kinship with Domenico become intertwined. Written by
Anonymous and Brian McInnis
Watching the paint dry on the Mona Lisa was not fun for Da Vinci
I didn't want to comment on this at first but given the fact that most of the positive reviews are Tarkovsky fanatics and the negative reviews are not so interested in Tarkovsky as a director to give him a fair account I took the burden to comment halfway. First of all the movie has some of the most beautiful images caught on film that I have ever seen, and I am not talking about how beautiful Italy is but about how Tarkovsky the director uses that beauty. Unfortunately all this beauty goes to waste in more than one way, and I will try to point to what I found utterly disappointing in the movie:
1) I know that Tarkovsky thought of cinema as sculpting in time, but cinematography also means, literally, recording movement and it is precisely this movement that is lacking in Nostalghia. Watching a painting collage would have been more thrilling. The long continuous shots are truly great if, either they establish something within the story or are simply great cinema achievements. Tarkovsky himself made some shots like these in Andrey Rublev, Solyaris and Stalker which would leave those five minutes of Welles at the beginning of Touch of Evil in the shadows
2) There is nothing wrong with cutting the movie from time to time. It is ironic that the most significant techniques of editing, in both practice and theory were established by the Russians (Eisenstein comes to mind). Is it possible that Tarkovsky hated the Communist Party and its affiliates so much that he had to reject even the good things that they had done in the past?
3) I don't know if the screenplay was translated into Italian by a twelve year old or what Guerra's contribution to it consisted in. The writing is by any standards, maybe excepting American B-movies from the fifties, simply atrocious. There are moments when you don't know who is speaking and there doesn't seem to be a connection between the lines. Was this intended? If so, it's worse. The lines are sometimes comical: take the moment when Eugenia is reading (come on, Arsenie Tarkovsky, is this self-indulgent or what?) and she has a discussion with the Russian about translating art . The ideas of that conversation are trite, boring, dull, laughable in their simplicity. Take Rublev for a real discussion about art anytime.
4) I thought the acting was not so good. Some other reviewers gave Tarkovsky at least this little. I don't. I think Josephson made many good movies in his career, though he was never excellent as an actor(he's no von Sydow). Since Begrman was retired at the moment and Josephson was basically jobless in the art-cinema business he made these two movies with what was at hand, namely Tarkovsky. It would have been better if he stayed home. The Domenico character is almost taken out of a Mel Brooks movie and Josephon takes him seriously.
5) Watching other Tarkovsky movies one does become a bit weary with his obsession for the damn H2O dripping all over the place. It's almost as Badalamenti's music in a Lynch film, give me a break already. I understand it makes a good atmosphere but it doesn't make up for the movie itself.
6) Tarkovsky wanted to elevate cinema to art. This was done way before him by: Eisenstein (and Soviet film-making in general), Griffith and Chaplin etc. Welles, Dryer, Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa, German Expressionism, French cinema of the twenties, Italian Neorealism and the list is still open
7) Even Beethoven's 9th can become cliché even if it was brilliantly used by Kubrick
Oh yeah, the pool may represent hell (brimstone?!) or the world, there may be a clue for redemption somewhere and Domenico and the Russian may be instances of the same person. Wattch for the falling feather, it's an important clue and there's a message in the pool-crossing with a candle in the hand. And?
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