• 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.