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Thursday Nights at the Cinematheque Spring Calendar

Andrei Tarkovsky:

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (4 April 1932 – 29 December 1986) was a Soviet and Russian film-maker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director.

Tarkovsky was a deep thinker who rejected the commercialized society and the coca cola culture. It is interesting to read his notes about America.

"22 November (1983), San Gregorio
In the past whenever I watched American films set in villages or small provincial towns I was always getting the impression houses and street decorations were badly made. But when I saw those places with my own eyes I concluded it was just the opposite. Entire America is a kind of Disneyland (decorations). Houses are made from slats, planed boards, and plywood. A feeling of the lack of stability and solidity hangs above it all. Krzysztof Zanussi, with whom we were travelling, was explaining this by the American dynamism, unwillingness to grow into any one place, readiness to run across the country whenever a better job beckons. Hamlet — or a portion of it at least — should be filmed in Monument Valley. It's astonishing that in places like this, where one ought to talk to God, Americans make westerns like John Ford used to do. Quakers. A village. Superquakers. Girls in long skirts. Vast spaces, roads on which it's impossible to get run over by a passing car. Emptiness. Tiny towns and a wonderful prairie. Poor Americans — with no soul, no roots, living in a land of spiritual riches, a land they don't know and don't appreciate. New York is terrible. [Tarkovsky's Diaries]

Tarkovsky, regardless of how one see his personal beliefs, tries to show us a world that is magical, supernatural, and ultimately beyond human comprehension.  --http://andrei-tarkovsky.com/

Charlie Chaplin with movie camera.  Announcement that screenings are open to the public and that admission is free.red line separator

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 7PM

One Day in the Life dvd cover

Andrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich

(dir. Chris Marker, 1999), 55 mins.
Together with Andrei Tarkovsky short films.

One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich (French: Une journée d'Andrei Arsenevitch) is a 1999 French documentary film directed by Chris Marker, about and an homage to the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. The film was an episode of the French documentary film series Cinéastes de notre temps (English: "Filmmakers of our time"), which in over ninety episodes since 1966 concentrates on individual film directors, film people and film movements. The title of the film is a play on the title of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novella One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

The film combines clips from Tarkovsky's films with footage of Tarkovsky on the set of his last film The Sacrifice and on his deathbed, during the final stage of his battle with cancer. The film mostly relies on images, with only sparse commentary, and concentrates mainly on giving insight into Tarkovsky's work and philosophy and on exploring the intersections between his private life and his work. The film starts with a scene from Tarkovsky first film Ivan's Childhood and ends with a parallel scene from his last film The Sacrifice. It shows the reunion of Tarkovsky with his son Andrei Jr., who had been allowed to leave the Soviet Union only after Tarkovsky was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Apart from Andrei Tarkovsky himself the film shows, among others, his second wife Larisa Tarkovskaya, his son Andrei Jr., the editor of the film The Sacrifice Michal Leszczylowski, the French actress Valérie Mairesse, the Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist and the Russian actress Margarita Terekhova.  --Wikipedia.comred line separator

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 7PM

Ivan's Childhood still from filmAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Ivan’s Childhood 

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962), 95 mins.

The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-ravaged youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of World War II and serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky’s film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of war on children. --The Criterion Collectionred line separator

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 7PM

shot from "Andrei Rublev"Andrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Andrei Rublev

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966), 205 mins.

Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky’s epic masterpiece is a sweeping medieval tale of Russia’s greatest icon painter. Too experimental, too frightening, too violent, and too politically complicated to be released officially, Andrei Rublev has existed only in shortened, censored versions until the Criterion Collection created this complete 205-minute director’s cut special edition. --The Criterion Collection red line separator

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 7PM

man standing in a field of flowersAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Solaris

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972), 165 mins.

Ground control has been receiving mysterious transmissions from the three remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is dispatched to investigate, he experiences the same strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew, sending him on a voyage into the darkest recesses of his consciousness. With Solaris, the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky created a brilliantly original science-fiction epic that challenges our conceptions about love, truth, and humanity itself. --The Criterion Collection red line separator

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 7PM

dvd cover/face of a young boyAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

The Mirror

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975), 107 mins.

Andrei Tarkovsky, the acclaimed master of Soviet cinema, takes a moving and personal turn with this striking meditation on life in Russia during the bleak days of WWII. THE MIRROR is not just the display of a film director at the peak of his unique powers. As an homage to the innocence of childhood, it tells an enigmatic tale that is both gripping and horrifying. Tarkovsky uses his own coming-of-age experiences, himself "mirror"-ed, to convey the mood and action that dominated a country ravaged by war. Through a fascinating two-tiered time frame, the director blends his own harsh childhood with an adult life that is troubled and broken. Powerful images (a mother faced with political terror, a divorcing couple's quarrel) are underscored by Tarkovsky's masterful manipulation of film stocks and recorded sound. THE MIRROR becomes a stream-of-consciousness, nostalgic visions of childhood mixed with slow-motion dream sequences and stark WWII newsreels. Tarkovsky's THE MIRROR is ultimately as much a window through the filmmaker's gaze as it is a reflection of his personal passions and ideals. Through this essential film, viewers may find the puzzles that provide the key to the director's other works, including THE SACRIFICE and SOLARIS. --Fandor.com  red separator line

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 7PM

Stalker posterAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Stalker

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979), 164 mins.

Stalker is a 1979 science fiction art film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, with its screenplay written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. Loosely based on the novel Roadside Picnic, the film features a mixture of elements from the science fiction genre with dramatic philosophical and psychological themes. It depicts an expedition led by a figure known as the 'Stalker' (Aleksandr Kaidanovsky) to take his two clients, a melancholic writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn) seeking inspiration and a professor (Nikolai Grinko) seeking scientific discovery, to a site known simply as the 'Zone', which has a place within it with the supposed ability to fulfill a person's innermost desires. The trio travels through unnerving areas filled with the debris of modern society while engaging in many arguments, facing the fact that the 'Zone' itself appears sentient, while their path through it can be sensed but not seen. In the film, a stalker is a professional guide to the Zone, someone having the ability and desire to cross the border into the dangerous and forbidden place with a specific goal.

The meaning of the word 'stalk' was derived from its use by the aforementioned Strugatsky brothers in their novel The Roadside Picnic (1972), making an allusion to Rudyard Kipling's character 'Stalky' from the Stalky & Co. stories. In Roadside Picnic, "Stalker" was a common nickname for men engaged in the illegal trade of prospecting for and smuggling alien artifacts from the mysterious and dangerous "Zone". All of this terminology is unrelated to the modern Anglosphere use of the term 'stalking' in reference to trailing and spying on victims.

The film has received many positive reviews, being labeled as one of the best drama films of the latter half of the 20th century, and ranks #29 on the British Film Institute's '50 Greatest Films of All Time' poll. --Wikipedia.com  red separator line

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 7PM

Nostalghia posterAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Nostalghia

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983), 125 mins.

NOSTALGHIA is Andrei Tarkovsky's brooding late masterpiece, a darkly poetic vision of exile. It was the first of his features to be made outside of Russia, the home to which he would never return. Tarkovsky explained that in Russian the word "nostalghia" conveys "the love for your homeland and the melancholy that arises from being far away." This debilitating form of homesickness is embodied in the film by Andrei, a Russian intellectual doing research in Italy. He becomes obsessed with the beauty of his translator Eugenia as well as the apocalyptic ramblings of a self-destructive wanderer named Domenico. Written with frequent Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator Tonino Guerra, NOSTALGHIA is a mystical and mysterious collision of East and West, shot with the tactile beauty that only Tarkovsky can provide.  --Fandor.com  red separator line

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 7PM

building on fireAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

The Sacrifice

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986), 149 mins.

The Sacrifice (Swedish: Offret) is a 1986 Swedish film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Starring Erland Josephson, it centers on a middle-aged intellectual who attempts to bargain with God to stop an impending nuclear holocaust. The Sacrifice was Tarkovsky's third film as a Soviet expatriate, after Nostalghia and the documentary Voyage in Time, and was also his last, as he died shortly after its completion. Like 1972's Solaris, it won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.  --Wikipedia.com  red separator line

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 7PM

Brad Pitt with a babyAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

The Tree of Life

(dir. Terrence Malick, 2011), 139 mins.

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American experimental drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. The film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man's childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth.

After several years in development and missing 2009 and 2010 release dates, The Tree of Life premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or. It ranked #1 on review aggregator Metacritic's "Top Ten List of 2011" and in January 2012 was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. --Wikipedia.com red separator line

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 7PM

woman squatting in the forestAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Antichrist

(dir. Lars von Trier, 2014), 108 mins.

Lars von Trier shook up the film world when he premiered Antichrist at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. In this graphic psychodrama, a grief-stricken man and woman—a searing Willem Dafoe and Cannes best actress winner Charlotte Gainsbourg—retreat to their cabin deep in the woods after the accidental death of their infant son, only to find terror and violence at the hands of nature and, ultimately, each other. But this most confrontational work yet from one of contemporary cinema’s most controversial artists is no mere provocation. It is a visually sublime, emotionally ravaging journey to the darkest corners of the possessed human mind; a disturbing battle of the sexes that pits rational psychology against age-old superstition; and a profoundly effective horror film.  --The Criterion Collection 

Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 7PM

Uncle Boomee Who Can Recall His Past Lives dvd coverAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 

(dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010), 114 mins.

The recipient of the prized Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's hypnotic drama tells the haunting story of a Thai man suffering from kidney failure who retreats to the countryside to die in the company of his loved ones. As Uncle Boonmee nears the end of his life, the spirit of his late wife returns to guide him into the unknown, and his estranged son reappears in the form of a jungle spirit. Later, the ailing man leads his family on a journey to a hilltop cave where he first came into this world. -- fandango.com red separator line

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 7PM

Meek's Cutoff poster/pioneer woman holding a rifleAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Meek’s Cutoff 

(dir. Kelly Reichardt, 2010), 104 mins.

Meek's Cutoff is a 2010 American western film directed by Kelly Reichardt. The film was shown in competition at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. The story is loosely based on a historical incident on the Oregon Trail in 1845, in which frontier guide Stephen Meek led a wagon train on an ill-fated journey through the Oregon desert along the route later known as the Meek Cutoff in the western United States.

In 1845, a small band of settlers traveling across the Oregon High Desert suspect their guide, Stephen Meek, may not actually know where he is going. What was supposed to be a two-week journey stretches into five. With no relief in sight, tensions rise as water becomes increasingly scarce and supplies run low. The wives look on as the husbands discuss what to do, unable to participate in the decision making. The dynamics of power begins to shift when they capture a lone Indian and hold him captive so he may lead them to water. Questions plague the settlers as they press on with dwindling resources: Should they trust Meek? Will the Indian lead them to water or a trap? Are there others following them? How much longer can they survive? --Wikipedia.com 

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 7PM

The Turin Horse posterAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

The Turin Horse 

(dir. Béla Tarr, 2011), 146 mins.

On January 3, 1889 in Turin, Italy, Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the doorway of number six, Via Carlo Albert. Not far from him, a cab driver is having trouble with a stubborn horse. The horse refuses to move, whereupon the driver loses his patience and takes his whip to it. Nietzsche puts an end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse's neck, sobbing. After this, he lies motionless and silent for two days on a divan, until he loses consciousness and his mind. Somewhere in the countryside, the driver of the cab lives with his daughter and the horse. Outside, a windstorm rages. Immaculately photographed in Tarr's renowned long takes, The Turin Horse is the final statement from a master filmmaker. --CriterionForum.com red separator line

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 7PM

Leviathan posterAndrei Tarkovsky:
His Films and His Legacy

Leviathan

(dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014), 141 mins

Leviathan (Russian: Левиафан, Leviafan) is a 2014 Russian drama film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, co-written by Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, and starring Aleksei Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, and Vladimir Vdovichenkov. According to Zvyagintsev, the story of Marvin Heemeyer in the United States inspired him and it was adapted into a Russian setting, but critics compare the story to the more similar biblical story of Naboth's Vineyard, where a King vies for his subjects' land and is motivated by his Queen to obtain it in a sly manner. The character development of the protagonist parallels another biblical figure, Job. The producer Alexander Rodnyansky has said: "It deals with some of the most important social issues of contemporary Russia while never becoming an artist's sermon or a public statement; it is a story of love and tragedy experienced by ordinary people". Critics noted the film as being formidable, dealing with quirks of fate, power and money.

The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.  Zvyagintsev and Negin won the award for Best Screenplay. The film was adjudged as the best film of the year at the 2014 London Film Festival and the 45th International Film Festival of India. It won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.  It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. --Wikipedia.com