Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Original title: Andrei Rublyov
USSR, 1969. Mosfilm, Tvorcheskoe Obedinienie Pisateley i Kinorabotnikov. Screenplay by Andrey Konchalovsky, Andrei Tarkovsky. Cinematography by Vadim Yusov. Produced by Tamara Ogorodnikova. Music by Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov. Production Design by Evgeniy Chernyaev. Costume Design by Mayar Abar-Baranovskaya, Lidiya Novi. Film Editing by Tatyana Egorycheva, Lyudmila Feyginova, Olga Shevkunenko.
The life of a Byzantine iconographer in monochrome for three and a half hours in black-and-white and Russian may not be the ideal film to bring to a party, but it is a masterpiece all the same. Andrei Tarkovsky’s grand work covers the life of Andrei Rublev, the medieval Russian monk who ended up painting some of the most influential icons to hang in eastern Orthodox churches. Recently restored to its original length, the film is gorgeously photographed and eerily mystical, factoring in influences of the pagan cultures and Tatar invasions that permeated 15th century Russia. Due to its mammoth length, it does require some patience, but stick with it and you’ll be glad you did.