Adelaide’s Cinémathèque has some goodies in store this season, including three awesome Andrei Tarkovsky films in March , and a slew of SF & F films April/May.
Wednesday March 14 | 7:00pm 4K restoration
1986 / 149mins / Sweden/UK/Fra
Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, his third as an ex-patriate and his last film, it is known as Tarkovsy’s homage to Ingmar Bergman, seen here in its 2017 beautiful 4K restoration. A middle aged ex actor, despairing and bitter at a changing world, tries to bargain with God when faced with an impending nuclear war. Shot by Ingmar Bergman’s longtime cinematographer Sven Nykvist, The Sacrifice contains some of the most powerful images in Tarkovsky’s monumental oeuvre. Perhaps its most transcendent moment is the penultimate scene, an epic, six-minute-long take that stands as one of the wonders of cinema. A powerful statement of humility in the face of the unknown, The Sacrifice is an exquisite parting word from one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
Monday March 19 | 7:00pm
1980 / 162mins / Russia
The visual aesthetics, philosophical and psychological approach of this most highly lauded film influenced an entire generation of filmmakers working in the genre of dystopic sci-fi. An expedition is led by Stalker into the Zone to find the room where you can fulfil your innermost desires. It remains a dense, complex, often-contradictory and endlessly pliable allegory about human consciousness, the necessity for faith in an increasingly secular, rational world and the ugly, unpleasant dreams and desires that reside in the hearts of men. Screenplay written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, loosely based on their novel Roadside Picnic (1972)
The starkness of its conception did not prevent the production traumas during its creation. Plans to shoot in Tajikistan had to be abandoned because of an earthquake. Having relocated to an abandoned hydroelectric power station in Estonia, Tarkovsky was dissatisfied with the cinematography and decided to shoot a pared-down version of the script all over again – in the same place. The price paid for this pursuit of an ideal is incalculable. Sound recordist Vladimir Sharun believes the deaths from cancer of Tarkovsky (in 1986), his wife Larissa and Anatoly Solonitsyn (who plays the Writer) were all due to contamination from a chemical plant upstream from the set.
* This is the film screening in the cinema in Atomic Blonde — in cyrillic, “Сталкер”
Wednesday March 21 | 7:00pm
1975 / 107mins / Russia
Ranked by Sight and Sound as the 12th greatest film ever made, this highly evocative, non-linear and loosely autobiographical film is said to capture the organic unfolding of memory, in this case the key events in the life of a dying poet.
The events are both highly personal such as a painful divorce as well as historical in regard to the great upheavals of 20th century Russia. The life is represented in such a way as to attempt the erosion or even abolition of the distinction between past and present. Tarkovsky worked on the script for over a decade and the film itself is the result of almost 40 major re-edits. The influence of Fellini and Ingmar Bergman can be seen in this film.
A 4 session pass to Cinémathèque is $40/$30; you’ll probably want to see Hard to Be A God on 23 April or one of the four other sf films in the After Year Zero sessions