Mar 192009
 

vlcsnap-00004

Not bad for a student film. How many students get a cast of thousands, or at least hundreds?

We watched Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Katok i skripka” (Steamroller and violin) some time back. I hadn’t known until now that it wasn’t his first student film. This one is “Sevodnya uvolnyeniya nye budyet” (Today There Will Be No Leave) and was produced in 1959, a couple of years before Steamroller.

I downloaded it from Memocast, and then found out it has French subtitles. The English subtitles from a .srt file overlay on top of them, making it kind of messy to read. I had sometimes wondered what it would like to watch a film with subtitles in both languages; now I’ve had no choice but to find out.

I’m not sure whether there is any great meaning to this film (I’m about 1/3 of the way through) but it keeps my attention.

It’s interesting that everybody in the city has to leave it in a mass evacuation, while the title of the film says NO leave. (That’s a play on words that doesn’t work in Russian, as far as I can tell.)

BTW, I kind of hate to say it, but it seems to me that Tarkovsky did better work in the Soviet Union than he did after he left it so he could have greater artistic freedom. However, some of the better work he did in the Soviet Union was also censored there, so the moral isn’t simply that repression is good for artists.

Reticulator

  • ///…, I kind of hate to say it, but it seems to me that Tarkovsky did better work in the Soviet Union than he did after he left it so he could have greater artistic freedom. However, some of the better work he did in the Soviet Union was also censored there, so the moral isnt simply that repression is good for artists. ///

    I think the matter is not only in Soviet censorship that as if “stimulate” an imagination of film director… (and not only in a feeling of nostalgia etc).

    As I heard that some non-mainstream Western film directors were envious of big budgets that Andrey Tarkovsky had in USSR, despite the fact that he was “a dissident” in Soviet cinematograph.

    Plus, unlike situation in USSR of 1970s-1980s, you as a film director could not ignore the power of privat/commercial producer…

    Indeed, Soviet government of 1970s-1980s was a so-called “collective producer” and often made absolute stupid/contrived censor complain to the film director.

    But I said above, Soviet government was collective producer, so you could to “play” with it as a clumsy bureaucrat machine… even if you are Andrey Tarkovsky, who in fact re-shot “Staler” three times, argueing unfinishing of the movie with a technical flaw of the tape.

    It is a big question if commercial/Western producers would be agree to increase the film budget for Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”.

    So, there were pluses and minuses…

    …but only IMHO, indeed 🙂

  • Reticulator

    Alexander,

    I now see that Mirror was a film he made while still in the Soviet Union. I’m not sure why I thought that, because obviously it has at least one Russian actor who also appeared in other Tarkovsky films. But I must admit I had it in mind when I got the idea that his work deteriorated when he had too much freedom.