Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Complete Filmography of Andrei Tarkovsky @ Hibbleton Gallery

Few people have been cited as "greatest filmmaker of all time" more often than Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932 - 1986), whose cinema sought to explore the metaphysical crashing through the surface of everyday life. Each Wednesday in March, Hibbeleton Gallery and award-winning filmmaker Steve Elkins will be hosting a retrospective of Tarkovsky's work. Most screenings start at 7pm and are FREE.

Wednesday, March 4: We began with a double feature of Tarkovsky's first two films "THE STEAMROLLER AND THE VIOLIN" (1960) and "IVAN'S CHILDHOOD" (1962), each exploring childrens' relationship to dreams, and their developing awareness that there is something just beneath the skin of the world that one might describe as spiritual.

Wednesday, March 11: "ANDREI RUBLEV" (1966). Few films have more commonly been hailed as "Greatest Film Ever Made" than "ANDREI RUBLEV" (1966), based on the true story of a man who devoted himself to painting icons while medieval Russia and its collective faith in God was crumbling under the Tatar invasion. Exploring the Orthodox belief that art is an expression of the Incarnation, whereby matter becomes "spirit-bearing," ANDREI RUBLEV is a profoundly moving testament to art as a vehicle of resurrection within ourselves, and of communion with our neighbors; an act of love in which true affirmation of the self is found in sacrifice. 

Wednesday, March 18: "SOLARIS" (1972).  The Soviet response to Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," in which director Andrei Tarkovsky discards all the politics and ideologies of the Cold War space race to explore the cosmos as a living and possibly conscious organism of which the human brain is an organ, as was believed by the father of Soviet aeronautics Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Envisioning space as an inverted mirror, in which what seems to be a journey outward is in fact a journey inward, "Solaris" attempts to grasp whether all the celebrated advances of the space program are a "worn-out old bus" compared to the technology of tears and memory, those small miracles through which we face and grapple with the Ineffable. 

Monday, March 23: "MIRROR" (1974).  One of Tarkovsky's most radically experimental works, and nearly impossible to describe, "MIRROR" was Tarkovsky's next major step in developing a cinema reflecting his belief that "poetic reasoning is closer to the laws by which thought develops, and thus to life itself, than is the logic of traditional drama...Through poetic connections, the spectator becomes a participant in the process of discovering life, unsupported by ready-made deductions from the plot or ineluctable pointers by the author...In a word, the image is not a certain meaning, expressed by the director, but an entire world reflected as in a drop of water...I am interested in man, for he contains a universe within himself; and in order to find expression for the idea, for the meaning of human life, there is no need to spread behind it, as it were, a canvas crowded with happenings."  

Wednesday, March 25: "STALKER" (1979).  A "Stalker" is a guide who leads people through a region in which the normal laws of reality no longer fully apply, known as The Zone. The Zone contains a place called the "Room." A writer and a scientist place their fate in the hands of a Stalker to take them there. Widely regarded as one of the great masterpieces of world cinema, the film was shot primarily near toxic sites in Estonia that soon led to the deaths of nearly everyone involved in the film, including Tarkovsky himself.  

Monday, March 30: "NOSTALGHIA" (1983).  Two people traveling across the ravishing beauty of Tuscany to find Renaissance paintings of the Madonna del Parto by Piero della Francesca (shot while Tarkovsky was literally on the run from the KGB), becomes the springboard for an in-depth meditation on the human desire to return to the source of all life, to our mothers, to reintegrate the fragments of ourselves that are scattered around the globe in the form of various cultures; in short, the spiritual crisis that occurs when one cannot unite the world within oneself.  

Wednesday, April 1: "The Sacrifice" (1986)

Note that all Wednesday screenings will start at 7pm. The two Monday screenings will start at 8 PM.  All screenings are FREE!  See you there!


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