Russia, 1966, 183 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, Not Rated, Russian with English subtitles, Janus Films
“The best arthouse film of all time.” – Steve Rose, The Guardian
“Tarkovsky's version of an indifferent world is inflected with the spirituality that is ever-present in his work, a sense that while we may be on our own, we are never quite alone.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
Tracing the life of a renowned icon painter, Andrei Tarkovsky’s second feature vividly conjures the murky world of medieval Russia. Over the course of several self-contained episodes, the filmmaker follows Andrei Rublev through the harsh realities of fifteenth-century life, vividly conjuring the dark and otherworldly atmosphere of the age: a primitive hot-air balloon takes to the sky, snow falls inside an unfinished church, naked pagans celebrate the midsummer solstice, a young man oversees the casting of a gigantic bell. Appearing here in Tarkovsky’s preferred 183-minute cut, as well as the version that was originally censored by Soviet authorities, Andrei Rublev is an arresting meditation on art, faith, and endurance, and a powerful reflection on expressive constraints in the director’s own time.
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