With his second feature, a towering epic that took him years to complete, Andrei Tarkovsky waded deep into the past and emerged with a visionary masterwork. Threading together several self-contained episodes, the filmmaker traces the renowned icon painter Andrei Rublev through the harsh realities of fifteenth-century Russian life, vividly conjuring the dark and otherworldly atmosphere of the age: a primitive hot-air balloon takes to the sky, snow falls inside an unfinished church, naked pagans celebrate the midsummer solstice, a young man oversees the casting of a gigantic bell. Appearing here in Tarkovsky’s preferred 183-minute cut, as well as the version that was originally censored by Soviet authorities, Andrei Rublev is an arresting meditation on art, faith, and endurance, and a powerful reflection on expressive constraints in the director’s own time.
This widely acclaimed film from Soviet director Elem Klimov is a stunning, senses-shattering plunge into the dehumanizing horrors of war. As Nazi forces encroach on his small village in present-day Belarus, teenage Flyora (Aleksei Kravchenko, in one of the screen’s most searing depictions of anguish since Renée Falconetti’s Joan of Arc) eagerly joins the Soviet resistance.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La haine, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts.
DCP, 35 mm, Blu-ray, DVD