Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Иваново детство (Ivanovo Destvo) (My Name is Ivan or Ivan’s Childhood)

Yesterday I saw my first movie in what I call my Russian movie cycle that this time will include only movies by Andrei Tarkovsky. So I started with Tarkovsky’s first feature film to begin to understand this great director that has been called the greatest since Eisenstein.

According to what I read about this film, Tarkovsky himself dismiss this movie, as being school dreams and he claims that he didn’t even liked the book with the short story; but then he admits that what he considers bad stories are always the best for his movies. Interesting commentary that speaks a lot about this director.

This 1962 movie tells a compelling story about a child and his lost to war childhood. Interesting performance by Nikolai Burlyayev playing a very dramatic and yet realistic Ivan, that complement well the other two main characters Captain Kholin and Lt. Galtsev.

The movie is in black and white and I was mesmerized by the visual quality of the forest scenes, the water reflections scenes and the beach/apples/horses scene. I also liked the dream sequences because it helped to ease the war tale while making the movie tone and manner very dramatic. Then I just loved the magic realism of the total movie.

I definitively enjoyed this movie and it was a good introduction to his oeuvre. Also it’s a very good predecessor to Andrey Rublyov that’s Tarkovsky’s next movie.

So, if you want to duplicate my Tarkovsky experience, have to start with this quite good for a first feature film that won the Golden Lion at the 1962 Venice Film Festival.

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