They Lay With Debris – Wreckage in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979)

“In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around… Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind… And of course, the usual mess—apple cores, sweet wrappers, charred remains of the campfire, cans, bottles, somebody’s handkerchief, somebody’s … Continue reading They Lay With Debris – Wreckage in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979)

The Breeze In The Grass – Elemental Realisation in Tarkovsky’s Mirror (1975).

In last month’s issue of Sight & Sound (November, 2015) Nick James details his relationship with the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky in line with the season of films he’s curated for the BFI.  Though the article is chiefly surrounding Tarkovsky’s (vast) legacy, one aspect in particular caught my attention whilst reading.  He refers to a scene from Tarkovsky’s 1975 film, Mirror, which partly accounted for … Continue reading The Breeze In The Grass – Elemental Realisation in Tarkovsky’s Mirror (1975).

The Forests Of Ivan’s Childhood (1962) – Andrei Tarkovsky.

For a film about war, Ivan’s Childhood (1962) by Andrei Tarkovsky dwells quite unexpectedly upon the natural landscape of its narrative.  At first, this might seem somewhat unsurprising; after all, most films set during war often make use of the battered terrain of the landscape, if only to show the fallout and power of the weaponry available.  Ivan’s Childhood does more than this and contains … Continue reading The Forests Of Ivan’s Childhood (1962) – Andrei Tarkovsky.

Norte, The End Of History – Lav Diaz (2013).

This review contains plot details. Dostoevsky is a brutal writer, wringing moral development out of human suffering and calamity perhaps like no other.  When approaching his film adaptations, there is a gulf between the filmmakers that get clogged down with obsessive period details (a problem that plagues adaptations of that other great humanistic Russian, Tolstoy) and the filmmakers that understand that it is the emotional … Continue reading Norte, The End Of History – Lav Diaz (2013).

Short Film – Artefacts (Super 8 film).

Synopsis.  Artefacts (2014) is a short video piece shot on super 8 film.  It captures the rural vistas around The Wirral which show hints of civilisation but fail to show the true presence of humanity.  These rural areas are littered with man-made objects but the natural wilderness has won through, creating a sense of the uncanny and eerie in places almost haunted by their emptiness … Continue reading Short Film – Artefacts (Super 8 film).

L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960) – A Curious Distance.

For a film that, on the surface, appears to be held in such high regard, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960) seems to have distanced itself from a number of its audience.  While I often wish to adhere to the third person in criticism, this article cannot help but revert to a personal reception of the film and also refer to recent personal reflections shared online.  After … Continue reading L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960) – A Curious Distance.

Graveyard of the VHS.

It occurred one Saturday afternoon that my own deep and personal mourning for the innocent VHS had found a new low. When describing VHS to people who appear to be gradually younger and younger, it mimics those conversations witnessed with parents, explaining to their I-pod bound offspring what the big black thing is that’s playing a crackly, slightly warped version of Shine on You Crazy … Continue reading Graveyard of the VHS.

Andrei Tarkovsky – Polaroids, Mementos and Time.

Some directors are very natural in their status as crowned auteur; their films always seemingly a product of their own conception which seems unavoidable to visually mistake. Seeing all of Andrei Tarkovsky’s films, this is perhaps clearer to see than most other directors. His distinctive visual style, which morphs into several similar variations, is instantly recognisable. Dripping with faded lights, distinct textures and elemental forces, … Continue reading Andrei Tarkovsky – Polaroids, Mementos and Time.

The Mirror – Andrei Tarkovsky (1975)

It’s hard to imagine a film made today being as unashamedly honest and personal about its director’s past as Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1975 film, The Mirror.  The title alone informs the viewer all they’ll need to know about the personal reflection that is about to unfold before their eyes over 101 minutes worth of some of the most beautiful and affecting images ever caught on camera and … Continue reading The Mirror – Andrei Tarkovsky (1975)

How Historical And Cultural Dynamics Shaped The Work Of Andrei Tarkovsky (Part 1 – Stalker)

Perhaps being from the west, Russian film fulfills that same function as cultural currency meaning we as a western audience are only shown what the country considers to be its finest and most cultured films yet this matters little in an argument for national cinemas as this is the image projected to us as an audience and only a true Russian will know whether all … Continue reading How Historical And Cultural Dynamics Shaped The Work Of Andrei Tarkovsky (Part 1 – Stalker)