Andrei Rublev (restored)

(USSR/1966—directed by Andrei Tarkovsky) 

With his second feature, a towering epic that took years to complete and even longer to restore, Andrei Tarkovsky waded deep into the past and emerged with a visionary masterwork. Threading several self-contained episodes, the filmmaker traces the renowned icon painter Andrei Rublev through the harsh realities of fifteenth-century Russia, vividly conjuring the otherworldly atmosphere of the age: a primitive hot-air balloon takes to the sky, pagans celebrate midsummer solstice, a young man oversees the casting of a gigantic bell.

Seen at last in Tarkovsky’s preferred cut – the version originally censored by Soviet authorities – the newly restored Andrei Rublev is an arresting meditation on art, faith and endurance, and a powerful reflection on expressive constraints in the director’s own time. In Russian with English subtitles. (183 mins.) 

“Tarkovsky’s medieval epic stuns with unexpected poetic explosions. Not to be missed.” –Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader 

 

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