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(A&F links to Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), Mirror (1975), Stalker (1979), Nostalghia (1983), Voyage in Time (1983), The Sacrifice (1986), and the documentary Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky (2008).)

Alright, there's no way that each of Tarkovsky's films don't get their own individual threads for purposes of their own unique discussions. I'm just about to rewatch this one. Here's a compilation of comments so far from the general Tarkovsky thread.

Last night, I watched “Ivan’s Childhood,” which is my first Tarkovsky film. I started with this one because a few followers on Twitter recommended I go through them chronologically.

Anyway, I’m not sure where “Ivan’s Childhood” ranks among Tarkovsky’s other works, but I was amazed by it. The black-and-white images were beautiful, stunning, and often felt otherworldly. In particular, the last few seconds of the movie really left an impression on me. I hesitate to describe them here, since I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but “Ivan’s Childhood” has one of the most organically poetic endings of any movie I’ve ever seen. What I mean by that is, it never felt like Tarkovsky was going out of his way to reach for some grand meaning—it’s just all right there.

Ivan's Childhood is easily Tarkovsky's most accessible film (it has the most traditional plot structure and the fewest poetic flourishes and digressions), so while they do get better, they also become more challenging, especially The Mirror.

Yeah. Ivan's Childhood is his film with the most traditional plot structure, except maybe for its ending. It's also quite an achievement for being his first feature film. There are certainly signs in the film of where he was heading in style, into what he was to become as a filmmaker. It shows Tarkovsky's ability to make seemingly ordinary life things (like walking through trees) look extraordinary, or maybe more to the point, his ability to help us to see how extraordinary, wonderful, and sacred, ordinary life really is.

I'm hoping to write a few blog posts about Tarkovsky over the course of this year. The first one is up now.


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This really should be in the Film forum (not the film awards & lists forum), by the way.

Oops. How did that happen? And how do I fix it? It does not appear from "use full editor" that I can move a thread once it's been started.

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  • 8 months later...

Posted this on Letterboxd after seeing this for the first time last night.

Moment by moment, imagery that's suitable for framing. An exceedingly strange and dream-like war movie, with an astonishing performance by Kolya Burlyayev. I'd be hard-pressed to think of a more impressive first feature film. Did Spielberg marinate in Tarkovsky-sauce before making "Empire of the Sun"? The Criterion blu-ray is so beautiful.



Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.


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Wow. If this was your first time you indeed had a treat!

It certainly is a impressive first film. Of course its a first film that is better than many filmmakers entire career, and that's famous filmmakers.

I own the Criterion DVD and I can only imagine what the blu-ray is like.

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Wonderful. I hope you get a chance to expand on those thoughts.

This reminds me - watching THE RETURN recently, I was stunned by a late scene that seemed to be deliberately challenging IVAN's last couple of shots - or at least the sense of hope that could be drawn from them.

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