• Andrei_rublev_current_large

    Every ten years since 1952, the world-renowned film magazine Sight & Sound has polled a wide international selection of film critics and directors on what they consider to be the ten greatest works of cinema ever made, and then compiled the results. The top fifty movies in the 2012 critics’ list, unveiled August 1, include twenty-five Criterion titles. In this series, we highlight those classic films.

    Almost certainly the most important Russian filmmaker of the second half of the twentieth century, Andrei Tarkovsky landed with full force on the cinematic scene with his 1962 debut, Ivan’s Childhood, which dazzled viewers with its virtuosic photography and sound. Despite that film’s precocious brilliance, nothing could possibly have prepared audiences in 1966 for its follow-up, an unusual, dreamlike biography of the Russian icon painter Andrei Rublev (1360–1430). They would not have believed their eyes—if they’d been allowed to see the film. It broke so many rules of filmmaking behind the Iron Curtain (it was deemed negative, frightening, salacious, violent, and too politically ambivalent) that it was shelved and not screened domestically until 1971 (after it caused a sensation at a secret screening at Cannes in 1969). Equal parts history and mysticism, Andrei Rublev is now considered alongside cinema’s preeminent masterpieces. J. Hoberman called it “the most historically audacious production in the twenty-odd years since Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible.”

    So who is the man who accomplished all this? A theorist and writer as well as a director (his Sculpting in Time is among the most important books on filmmaking), Tarkovsky created a transcendent, metaphysical form of cinema that constitutes a genre unto itself. In this archival interview, he relates his philosophies on art and nature (while reclining in a tree!).

    Now watch Andrei Rublev’s amazing—and never-contextualized—opening sequence. With its arresting tracking movements, slow-motion shots of a horse by a river, and images recorded from a great height, simulating the flight of a primitive hot-air balloon a man uses to escape marauders, this prologue is a strange and beautiful way in to a daring, exceptional work of art.

15 comments

  • By Batzomon
    September 21, 2012
    05:42 PM

    This movie...whoa. I watched it one night on Hulu with the screen inches away from my face, and it was an experience of religious proportions. Gotta buy this one, and gotta release it in Blu-ray, so that I gotta buy it again.
    Reply
  • By Austin Saget
    September 21, 2012
    05:46 PM

    Please release this on blu-ray.
    Reply
  • By John roome
    September 21, 2012
    09:43 PM

    Nice piece guys. Next to Sculpting in Time i would seriously urge anyTarkovsky fan to grab a copy of Time Within Time. A far more illuminating book on the man. Warts n' all.
    Reply
  • By DawnDavenport
    September 22, 2012
    12:33 AM

    Please release this on Blu-Ray. I will buy it for everyone I know! I promise!
    Reply
    • By Shaun
      September 22, 2012
      10:48 AM

      Hello, My name is Shaun Pearson. I like the color green, Jazz music, and long romantic walks on the beach. There, now you know me. Remember, you promised...
    • By Dante
      September 25, 2012
      11:32 AM

      My name is Dante, I'm from Puerto Rico. I am 24 and an English Lit. Major. I have a cat and a dog. It's a pleasure to meet you. XD
  • By Khanate
    September 23, 2012
    12:33 AM

    Release this sucker again and pimp it up with some killer bonus material! I've got the first edition and would shell out some more for an update!
    Reply
  • By StephenM
    September 24, 2012
    01:17 AM

    I'll join in the chorus begging for a new edition--in fact, I'll even call for getting ahold of Mirror, Stalker, Nostalghia, and The Sacrifice, and releasing them all in top-notch new editions. I would buy them. Maybe it's impossible, but a guy can dream, right?
    Reply
  • By Daniel T. P.
    September 24, 2012
    10:57 AM

    I think we would all be happy to have Criterion editions of ALL Tarkovsky's movies. But if the company could have done it already then it would have happened already, I'm sure. Rublev is so darn good, though.
    Reply
  • By futurestar
    September 25, 2012
    04:35 AM

    I think most of the material relating to this film was included on the original release except for a full audio commentary which would a huge task. even deciding whom to do it without offending a rather large crowd of critics. I would like to see an update on this also though. after my first viewing of this film I felt like chunking half the wothless B S DVDs that pass under guise of contemporary film. this is the one the shamed the many and stands tall with the few. Criterion does not have the rights to redo all of the Tarkovsky films but it could probably be made to happen given releases from Kino and others. Mirror and Stalker get my initial votes.
    Reply
  • By Chris
    September 28, 2012
    02:59 PM

    At this point, I won't buy a Tarkovsky film unless it's Blu-Ray. Nostalghia, Rublev, Stalker and Mirror ... bring 'em on, Criterion.
    Reply
  • By Gord
    September 28, 2012
    05:34 PM

    I didn't much like this movie when I watched it several years ago. I LOVE every other Tarkovsky I've ever seen though (Stalker, Solaris, something else I can't think of at the mo') so maybe I was having a bad day. Oh yeah, I also love The Mirror.
    Reply
  • By mjk
    October 02, 2012
    11:34 AM

    You ought to watch it again, otherwise check your pulse. The greatest movie by the greatest director, ( well maybe The Mirror is better). I first saw it on September 12, 2001, after driving down from the hills and through an empty city midweek and I've never been the same since. Seen it many times since and am always deeply affected after it.
    Reply
  • By Daniel W.
    February 14, 2013
    11:48 PM

    I adore this film. I really really hope a blu-ray release is in the future.
    Reply
  • By marisa
    September 07, 2013
    11:46 PM

    merci pour ces vidéos. merci beaucoup
    Reply