Tarkovsky’s ‘Nostalghia’ and (almost) every Ozu hit New York repertory

Oleg Yankovskiy (with dog) plays a brooding poet in Andrei Tarkovsky's "Nostalghia." Credit: BAMcinematek
Oleg Yankovskiy (with dog) plays a brooding poet in Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Nostalghia.”
Credit: BAMcinematek

Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Nostalghia’

For a filmmaker known for slow and sometimes impenetrable work, Andrei Tarkovsky is relentlessly popular. Not many saw the faithfully sluggish remake of his “Solaris,” not even with George Clooney in the lead. But his films — including “Solaris,” plus “Andrei Rublev” and “Stalker” — are reliable repertory draws, packing houses with audiences willing to sit rapt in front of long, ponderous takes and mull over its naked philosophizing.

A new 35mm print of 1983′s “Nostalghia,” the Russian filmmaker’s sixth and penultimate film, is currently in a two-week run at Brooklyn’s BAMcinematek, which ends next Thursday. After “The Mirror,” it’s Tarkovsky’s most difficult piece: It’s largely plotless, and it saves its two most galvanizing set pieces for the end. The plot (if you will) concerns a brooding Russian poet tellingly named Andrei (Oleg Yankovskiy) who comes to Italy to research a composer, and soon gets caught up in the ravings of a lunatic (Erland Josephson) who thinks the modern world is rubbish.

The actions mirror the film’s making. Tarkovsky, too, had come to Italy from Russia, where filmmaking had, finally, become difficult for him. But he brought Russia with him. He’s possibly the only director to make Italy look miserable: It’s a film of decaying, disused old buildings, with water leaking through roofs or running through its floors. There’s a powerful sense of place, at once vivid and dreamlike, that triumphs over narrative. The critic J. Hoberman described it as “not so much a movie as a place to inhabit for two hours.”

At times he seems to be referencing himself, even mocking his reputation. “I’m tired of these sickeningly beautiful sights,” his doppelganger says early on, a nod to his films’ ability to find beauty in nature and man’s destruction of it. The climax, meanwhile, involves the carrying of a candle across a room — a scene that could be read as a joke if it wasn’t unexpectedly thrilling. “Nostalghia” also conveys his own anguish at the time. Made by a man of deep faith from a country that suppressed religion, it finds someone coming to a country that embraces God, only to find that he’s not there either.

If you go

“Nostalghia”
Through June 13
BAMcinematek
30 Lafayette Blvd.

Chishu Ryu plays a widowed father in Yasujiro Ozu's "Late Spring."
Chishu Ryu plays a widowed father in Yasujiro Ozu’s “Late Spring.”

Ozu @ Film Forum

“Tokyo Story” regularly makes best-ever lists, but there’s far more to Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, even if the movies themselves are often almost the same. The filmmaker would often recycle and rework — and sometimes actually remake — certain stories, often about fathers and their too-close relationship with daughters. Ozu didn’t happen upon his mega-austere style till later in his long career. You have the chance to see what he was like early on in Film Forum’s heroic near-complete retro, which, starting Friday, eats up June and includes rarities in addition to established greats like “Late Spring,” “Early Summer” and “Floating Weeds.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…