Andrei Rublev

This is a 1966 Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (he of Solaris and Stalker fame, both excellent films), based loosely on the story of Andrei Lublev, an icon painter in 15th century Russia. It has been called one of the greatest films of all time.

It is a long film at 183 minutes (depending on which version you watch), and is very heavy going. The story follows Andrei and his painter friends as they leave their monastery and find work painting in a cathedral.

The story is told in seven episodes which follow Andrei, or other characters that were part of his story. The story was very religious and had concepts that were too religious for me to follow, or required some back knowledge of Russian history. The sometimes confusing subtitles did not help.

But, the film-making, acting, and sets were all superb, very much like a Kurosawa film. The attack on the old Russian city of Vladimir was quite well done and looked quite dangerous in some scenes. Unfortunately there was some obvious cruelty to a horse in one scene, which I never like to see, especially in a film. The acting was so natural, it seemed as though you were watching a documentary rather than a historical drama.

Fifteenth century Russia was obviously a barbaric place. There was a lot of killing and torture, famine, and general mayhem. But, at the same time, people were trying to live as best they could and make a life between all of the chaos. At least that is what this film showed us.

I am not really sure I would class this as one of my greatest films of all time. Perhaps if I went to film-appreciation school I might learn more about it, and better understand what was going on. But, it was certainly epic stuff, and despite the heavy going was interesting and thought-provoking.

This article explains the film much better than I ever could. Read it, then watch the film.

For me Stalker was a better film, confusing too, but mermerising.

Date watched: July 21st and 22nd
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 47