Combustible Celluloid
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With: Anatoli Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolai Grinko, Nikolai Sergeyev, Irma Raush
Written by: Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrei Konchalovsky
Directed by: Andrei Tarkovsky
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Russian with English subtitles
Running Time: 185
Date: 01/12/1966

Andrei Rublev (1966)

4 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev depicts the life of a 15th century icon painter (Anatoliy Solonitsyn) who finds his solitary work disrupted by the fluxing of the world.

A true visionary filmmaker, Tarkovsky (1932-1986) turns this into one of cinema's most vivid portrayals of the artistic process. More importantly, he uses the "biopic" formula only as a jumping-off point for something deeper. The hot-air balloon and bell-making sequences alone are among the finest cinema ever made.

The film was completed in 1966, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969, showed commercially in Russia in 1971, and opened in the United States in 1973, hence the confusing jumble of dates that various sources list.

Co-writer Andrei Konchalovsky went on to his own, slightly less artistic directing career with films like Runaway Train (1985), Shy People (1987) and Tango and Cash (1989).

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