• Criterion Tube: A Nice Gathering

    By Mary Manning

    In this beautiful, shadowy gem, Orson Welles is onstage at the awards ceremony of the 1983 Cannes Film Festival. He introduces the shared best director award going to Robert Bresson, for L’argent, and Andrei Tarkovsky, for Nostalgia. Whoa! And there they are together, accepting the award on the same stage. No big deal. Bresson famously says nothing to the crowd. Tarkovsky charmingly says, “Merci.” And off they walk, arm in arm. So great. “A nice gathering, isn’t it?”

    Given that Bresson refused to speak not only upon receiving his award but also at the press reception following the ceremony, this interview he granted to French television regarding the process of filming L’argent (and all of his work) is that much cooler. So fascinating that someone with such a seemingly rigid style just sort of relies on spontaneity and a general feeling and pace for the film that he’s made up all alone in his mind. I also love that he rejected the word set to describe where his films are made. “The setting is always somewhere real,” he says. Somewhere real for real!

    And here is a segment of a film documenting Tarkovsky filming Nostalgia. This is just a wildly beautiful window into his own setting as somewhere real. The scenes of the men discussing the wind. The dog waiting patiently on the hillside. The dog stopping to take a drink from the pond. But then cutting to show you how it all looked in the finished footage. So pretty. Also: this clip has just about the most gorgeous subtitling I’ve ever seen. So nice and large and such a nice font—glowing, even. But that’s nothing compared to this radical chance to watch a master at work.

    Mary Manning makes the site unchangingwindow.com, mostly in the mornings.


  • By Emma
    August 22, 2012
    08:15 PM

    True confession: never seen a Tarkovsky. It would be awesome to watch one screened...!
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    • By Batzomon
      August 25, 2012
      09:18 AM

      I saw my first Tarkovsky at the Walter Reade Theater in NYC. Seeing "Stalker" on such an enormous screen was breath-taking; the Zone could not feel more real, and Tarkovsky immediately became one of my favorite directors.
  • By matt
    August 22, 2012
    08:50 PM

    this is so great! at Cannes Bresson exhibits a kind of comfortable restraint that seems so singular... like no one else could carry themselves in quite the same way... because he doesn't really seem standoffish or like it's a stance or an arrogance... more like it's just a choice. sadly, i fear i may soon look a bit like orson welles.
    • By film club
      August 26, 2012
      03:12 PM

      what's bad about looking like Orson Welles. he's one of those guys who aged so interestingly, like J Mascis, like he just became Orson Welles But Moreso. imagine getting to a stage where it doesn't look unusual or inappropriate for you to wear a cape. still working through this all, v absorbing.
  • By Carol
    August 22, 2012
    10:02 PM

    I haven't seen the movies but this makes me want to see them. I like the contrasts listed and the images discussed.
  • By Lauren
    August 22, 2012
    10:35 PM

    Fascinating post, Mary! I love that you're finding this filmic gems - the stories behind the story. It's bringing a bit of vérité to what can often feel like pure artifice.
  • By david
    August 23, 2012
    01:31 AM

  • By Sarah
    August 23, 2012
    03:34 AM

    As always Mary, you bring me so much great inspiration and ideas of things to watch. Thanks!
  • By Shaun
    August 23, 2012
    04:37 PM

    May we assume these titles are coming to the Collection? I love L'argent & I'm very much looking forward to seeing another Tarkovsky. I'll hope.
  • By katie
    August 23, 2012
    09:45 PM

    "If you want the world to go on, we must hold each other's hand"
    September 19, 2012
    01:04 PM