Empty Days

Wednesday, May 18, 2005



Found a very neat site about the russian film-director Andrej Tarkovsky. He is part of the russian intellectual tradition of the 70's and is often seen/quoted/referenced as if he were a writer or a philosopher rather than film-maker. Which he was indeed.

I used to like his films a lot and went to watch them in run-down repertory cinemas over and over again. It was too long ago but I guess I learned his language too thoroughly then to really ever forget.

One of his last films that is fairly hard to find nowdays is called "Sacrifice". He was dying of cancer at the time and probably had a hard time controlling the production - the film is way too long. It's actually boring (cinematically speaking), but it does have some striking ideas in it. I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Maybe it is easily accessible in Russia? I'll find out soon.

*

Very good site. About the film in question:
In true Tarkovsky subtle narrative style, during dinner preparations, the glasses clink, the room shakes, then the sound of a concussive wave is heard. Is it an earthquake? We find out from fragments of news broadcasts that World War III has begun. In a desperate attempt to save his family, he decides to offer himself as a sacrifice - to relinquish all of his worldly possessions and part with his loved ones if they can be spared from the horror. But how does one make such a covenant? He prays to God, he pleads with a housemaid whom he suspects is a witch, he suffers in silence. He appears melancholy, despondent, even delusional. The beauty of Alexander's sacrifice is that no one realizes what he is trying to do (and the lengths that he will go to) in order to save his family... and isn't that what a sacrifice truly is? The Sacrifice is a devastating, but powerfully reaffirming film on love, humanity, and faith.






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