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
This was Andrey Tarkovsky's first film directed outside of the USSR. It was supposed to be filmed in Italy with the support of Mosfilm, with most of the dialogue in Italian. When Mosfilm support was inexplicably withdrawn, Tarkovsky used part of the budget provided by Italian State Television and French film company Gaumont to complete the film in Italy and cut some Russian scenes from the screenplay, while recreating Russian locations for other scenes in Italy. See more »
There is a strange feeling that comes over me when I watch a Tarkovsky flick, like I'm seeing a puzzle come together to for a full picture, yet it is of something I cannot fully comprehend. I'm sure this has happened to numerous others while they watch a David Lynch film, or even one of the various mind-bogglers released this past year. But Tarkovsky comes to us with a different approach-an approach that I have not seen from any other director. It is an approach that reminds me of reading a poem. You read it once-you don't comprehend it. You read it again-it seems clearer. It may not be until that third reading that it finally clicks. Tarkovsky's images are not there to keep you puzzled, they all have a meaning and a purpose-you just need to find what that meaning is. It may seem like there is much work involved, and sometimes I would rather work for a film than be bowled over by its tepid scripting and mediocre direction. The one thing you would need, above all, would be patience, because it is not the kind of film to watch half-asleep.
The story, at times, is hard to grasp, number one because it is in subtitles. It follows a Russian poet who is on a research mission in Italy with an Italian interpreter. There, he is haunted by his past: memories of his wife and children. One of the most amazing things I picked up was the subtle use of symbolism. You have to pick the film apart if you wanted to fully understand it, and that is something that I enjoy doing. Tarkovsky leaves much to the mind. Such as the dialogue which is subtle as well, and attention must be paid or you'll miss small but important details. It merely is there to move the story along softly scraping the surface. Otherwise, the images must be analyzed.
The camera shots consist of many slow zooms, slow pans, numerous still shots, and semi-slow motion. Many instances, the camera reveals some amazing imagery that is so perfect, so beautiful that not only the most devout romanticist could appreciate. Actually, the entire film is a series of gorgeous cinematography, I couldn't tell you one shot I didn't like.
The final shot of the film is incredible. Constructed both metaphorically and physically, it shows the poet lying sideways on the ground with the top half of his body propped up with an arm. His dog lies next to him with his head on the ground. The camera pulls back steadily slowly. A house is revealed in the background. The shot pulls out further and the house seems smaller than the poet. When the zoom stops is shows everyone surrounded by tall pillars, like the ruins of a temple. Then it begins to snow, just a little; that image holds for an entire minute, before `To the memory of my mother,' appears on the screen. Puzzling, exhausting, yet beautiful and exhilarating. The film, at many points touches religion and life, mostly without answers. Attempting to find those answers is a task well worth the trouble.
****1/2 out of *****
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