Andrei Rublev – There and back again!   Leave a comment

Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world: that is the meaning of cinema.

And every time I watch this movie (Tarkovsky’s – Andrei Rublev), the above statement constructs a conceivable space which generates an overpowering sense of bliss. The movie pragmatically describes the fundamental nature of an artist, his relentless search for truth and also on the agony, ecstasy experienced in an attempt to deduce intended meaning.

Excerpts from his Book: Sculpting in Time.

The monk – Rublev, looked at the world with unprotected, childlike eyes, and preached love, goodness and non-resistance to evil .And though he found himself witnessing the most brutal and devastating forms of violence, which seemed to hold sway in the world and led him to bitter disillusionment, he came back in the end to that same truth, rediscovered for himself, about the value of human goodness, of openhearted love which does not count the cost, the one real gift which people can give  each other.

It looks at first sight as if the cruel truth of life as he (Rublev) observes it is in crying contradiction with the harmonious ideal of his work. The crux of the question, however, is that the artist cannot express the moral ideal of his time unless he touches all its running sores, unless he suffers and lives these sores himself. That is how art triumphs over grim, ‘base’ truth, clearly recognizing it for what it is, in the name of its own sublime purpose: such is its destined role. For art could almost be said to be religious in that it is inspired by commitment to a higher goal.

Although, the movie contains a number of references to Christianity and its symbolism, the core, essence of it sheds light on artist’s visual manifestation of the contradictions and complexities of life and thus, finding truth within simplicity which is always devoid of cultural, religious attributes.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love, I have become sounding brass.
And though I have the gift of prophesy,
and understand… all knowledge,
and though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing!
And though I bestow all my goods… and
though I give my body to be burned,
but have not love,
it profits me nothing!

Love suffers long, and is kind;
love envies not; love does not parade itself,
is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly,
seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails…
But whether there be prophesies, they shall fail;
whether there be tongues, they’ll cease;
…knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Sculpting in Time – a book by Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky.


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