|Beautiful, but distant.
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Produced by Erik Waisberg
Written by Andrei Tarkovsky and Aleksandr Misharin
Starring Margarita Terekhova, Oleg Yankovskiy, Filipp Yankovskiy and Ignat Daniltsev
Plot Summary: Memories of his past, dreams, and the recent events of Russian history are recounted by a dying man.
Significance: Considered one of the greatest international films of all time, this film was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#19 in 2012 critics' poll and #9 in the directors' one). Also, the film was notably withheld from the Cannes Film Festival by the Russian State Committee for Cinematography, despite the festival director's desire to include it.
Thoughts: Last year I watched Solaris for my Blind Spot Series, and I loved it, despite it being a challenge to watch at times. Having now seen all but Nostalghia, this is arguably Tarkovsky's most artful and most dense feature. The director uses all kinds of techniques - color-shifting cinematography, obscure flashbacks, and poetic imagery - to tell this story, and the film largely remains a visually captivating and intellectually stimulating experience. However, it feels a little distant and removed, making it tough to really engage with. Tarkovsky films aren't exactly the easiest to watch, but this one felt the most challenging to tackle. Perhaps my expectations were too high, or maybe I just need to give it another look, as it's definitely a film to be studied and further examined. Still, it's a solid outing from the celebrated Russian director, if not my favorite of his filmography.