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The Rise of Andrey Tarkovsky [TALKING IMAGES]

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St. Gloede
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am

The Rise of Andrey Tarkovsky [TALKING IMAGES]


Post by St. Gloede »


In this episode, we take a close look at the early films of Andrey Tarkovsky, from his early student efforts to his first passion project. 

We will briefly touch on The Killers (1956) and There Will Be No Leave Today (1959) before we go into depth on his first three solo efforts, The Steamroller and the Violin (1961), Ivan's Childhood (1962) and Andrey Rublev (1966).

Yes, we will dissect their endings, but don't you worry, if you have not seen one of them there will be a clear spoiler warning allowing you to use the timestamps below to skip to the next film.

You Can Listen Here:

Sounder: https://talking-images.sounder.fm/episo ... -tarkovsky

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4ukON4hG3m8M62gQT705DJ

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/t ... 0566515119


00.00.00 - Intro
00.02.06 - Our views on the progression of Andrey Tarkovsky
00.06.56 - The Killers
00.10.11 - There Will Be No Leave Today
00.12.22 - The Steamroller and the Violin
00.33.29 - Ivan's Childhood
01.03.20 - Andrey Rublev

  • Matthieu / Teproc
  • Tom / Filmbantha
  • Sol / Sol
  • Chris / St. Gloede
Young Tarkovsky

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How do you feel about The Killers and There Will Be No Leave Today? Do you see traces of who Tarkovsky would become?

Would you say The Steamroller and the Violin is Tarkovsky's first movie or does it feel like a student film? How would you rate it if you were Tarkovsky's teacher? (Feel free to add any general thoughts on the film)

Do you think Tarkovsky is actively and subversively undercutting the idea of class harmony in this film?

Bonus question from Sol: Is the central relationship in The Steamroller and the Violin a little creepy? Can you look at without 2020s goggles?

Double-whammy, Sol bonus question, but with spoilers:
What the hell does it communicate that the steamroll operator seems annoyed that he can not go to the cinema with a young boy and has to settle for a woman of his own age?
What are your thoughts on Ivan's Childhood?

Does it pale a little in the context of other great Soviet and eastern-block war films from the same era?

Should they have decreased/cut the storylines following the adults in Ivan's Childhood, or do you think showcasing how young, inexperienced and arguably innocent/childlike the other soldiers are, in particular, Masha and Galtsev helps amplifying the overall idea of lost innocence?

Bonus question: Is the famous scene and often used screenshot of Kholin holding Masha in his arms over the ditch assault and do you believe Masha fell in love?

What is your interpretation of the ending? (Spoilers)
Do you believe the sea is meant to symbolize death and that the tree is meant to symbolise the meeting point Ivan never reached?
What are your thoughts on Andrey Rublev? (There are too many possible topics here to cover, so go wild)

What is your interpretation of the ending? (Mild spoilers)
Do you believe that the ending implies that Andrey Rublev worked a miracle to save the young bellmaker's life? Do you believe that the bell being finished to perfection restores Rublev's faith in humanity and belief in purpose? Or, do you have another interpretation?
What does the final shot of horses mean, and does it work?

Which of the 3 films Tarkovsky made in the 60s is your favourite?

Bonus question courtesy of Sol and Matthieu: Is Ivan's Childhood or Andrey Rublev the more "conventional"? Which better represent what Tarkovsky would do later in his career?
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St. Gloede
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Post by St. Gloede »

Oh, another bonus question, as Matthieu and Tom both have Andrey Rublev as their favourite Tarkovsky - how many of you agree that Tarkovsky made his best film before the 70s?
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Post by Teproc »

I like how the title of this episode makes it sound like we're going to argue that the 70s were somehow a fall for Tarkovsky.
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Post by hurluberlu »

I have Ivan’Childhood as his best but I suspect it could change as I have not revisited any of his major films, except Solaris, since I watched them 10-15 years ago in my early cinephile years. There are all favorites anyhow except Andrei Rublev which I found masterful but did not resonate as strongly as the others. His early short films are anecdotal in my opinion, The Steamroller… included.
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Post by Torgo »

St. Gloede wrote: June 17th, 2022, 9:41 am Oh, another bonus question, as Matthieu and Tom both have Andrey Rublev as their favourite Tarkovsky - how many of you agree that Tarkovsky made his best film before the 70s?
By far not! :folded:
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Location: Canada


Post by Fergenaprido »

A lot of questions this time. I haven't listened to the episode yet.

Tarkovsky is one of the few directors that I've consciously chosen to watch all of their films in chronological order; I started in early 2016 and still have his last two to go.

I've seen The Killers, but don't remember much about it. I haven't seen the other short, so can't comment on that one.

Steamroller (7.6) was a cute story, but based on the question y'all asked I don't remember much of the details of the plot. I'm not bothered either way about it being his first film or not.
I have no opinion on the class harmony question, as my memory is too vague about that aspect of the film.
I don't recall the central relationship being creepy at all, nor do I remember the double-whammy spoiler bonus Sol question scene. I don't think it communicates anything untoward, as implicitly implied by the question.

I love Ivan's Childhood (8.4), my favourite Tarkovsky by far. I don't think it pales at all in comparison to other WWII films from the region at that time, and it's the best one of them all that I've seen so far (though I expect Come and See will surpass it upon rewatch, but being 23 years later it may not be considered from the same era) - the only films that come close to me are The Fifth Seal (8.4 - 1976), The Ascent (8.2 - 1977), Birth Certificate (8.2 - 1961), Come and See (8.0 - 1985) & The Shop on Main Street (8.0 - 1965).
I don't think I would change any of the storylines - it all worked for me. I don't recall much of the others characters so many years later, but this is a film I'd be willing to rewatch.
I don't remember the "famous" scene. :sweat:
Regarding the ending, no to the first question and yes to the second.

I liked Andrey Rublyov (7.6) more than I thought I would like a slow religious epic.
I don't recall the ending enough to have my own interpretation of it, but I'd say no to the first interpretation and maybe to the second.
I don't know what the final short of horses means, and I guess it worked.

Ivan is my favourite '60s Tarkovsky and favourite overall (for comparison: Solaris - 7.8, Stalker - 7.6, The Mirror - 7.4)

I'm not sure what Sol and Matthieu consider "conventional", but I'd probably say that Ivan has a more straightforward narrative and is more accessible than Andrey. I don'tt hink either really represent his '70s work and haven't seen his '80s work to know yet.
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