Saturday, February 13, 2010

1961 - THE STEAMROLLER AND THE VIOLIN, a Tarkovsky film I could stay awake through

Andrei Tarkovsky, was one of the Soviet Union's greatest filmmakers.  He made important films in his short lifetime.  Stalker and Solaris are science fiction films that examine man's place in the universe and attempt to look deeply into the soul. Andrei Rublev looks at the artist's place in society, in order to understand if an artist should be an active part of society or just a chronicler of it.

These films are very long, complex and thoughful meditations, with superb photography and are made with great care.  These films are also very boring.   I view them frequently when I am having trouble sleeping, they are a guaranteed cure for insomnia.

The Steamroller And The Violin was apparently Tarkovsky's graduate thesis film from film school.  The film appeared to have been made at Mosfilm studios, so it has a very professional look to it for a student film.  The Steamroller and The Violin shows the beginnings of Tarkovsky's complex visual style and is the story of a young violin player who is persecuted by his peers, but protected by a sensitive Russian worker.


Since The Steamroller and the Violin is a Tarkovsky film it is also very boring, but it is only 45 minutes long, although I still needed two breaks to get through it.

46  minutes.

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