Friday, March 8, 2024

Tarkovsky's Nostalghia

Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia (1983), currently in revival at Film Forum, starts with a Russian couple pulling into a town in Italy. Her partner, a poet, tells her to speak Italian.  It's a town where there are baths and a Felliniesque fog. This section is named "Limbo" the first circle of Dante's hell. Many of the supernumeraries are submerged in water. Piero della Francesca's "Madonna del Parto" is caught by the camera.There are also black and white scenes which are plainly memories of the poet's childhood in this place. "I'm tired of your beautiful things" he says as his partner dashes off into a landscape filled with rivulets of water at the beginning. Later she says, " I can't remember you, if you don't exist." There are groups of unidentified characters poised on a staircase. The scene recalls  Last Year at Marienbad. There is also a crazed man who has locked his family up for 7 years. He's a violent Christ figure who sets himself on fire when his imprecations about the unreality of the present are ignored.

read "Menus-Plaisirs Les Trois Gros" by Francis Levy, TheScreaming Pope

and listen to "Tell it Like It is" by Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville and Gregg Allmann

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