Friday, 17 April 2009
Andrei Rublev (1966) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.
It has to have a beginning. In our case it was Andrei Rublev. There were before that stray snatches, a scene, a visual recollected from the late night show on Doordarshan long before there were 357 channels and nothing on. Later we’d wonder where does one go to watch these films. For we were too preoccupied with the obvious to realize that in far off reaches of India, in small towns of Kerela there exist Andrei Tarkovsky appreciation societies and such like. Till an honorable member of one such introduced us to Andrei Rublev.
The moment the rope is cut and the man shouts, “I’m flying, I’m flying” gliding over the beautiful Russian landscape with the horses running wild till the inevitable thud and the horse rolling in the grass rising to trot off and reveal the broken man and his tattered balloon something in our lives changed. We were drawn into the world of Andrei Rublev with his vow of silence, painter of breathtaking icons in an era devoid of spirituality. The jester dances banging his drum, pagans carry torches in the mist, the birch trees in the forest crawl with life and the river yields a decomposed swan, the cavalry marches through the snow, the snow falls through the roof of the ransacked church, the mad woman chooses to go with the Tartars, and finally in an inspired moment overcoming the fear of death and lack of knowledge the young man casts the perfect bell and as the bell tolls Andrei Rublev regains his passion. While we watched the horses standing in the rain at the end unnoticed by us something inside us too got reborn.
Andrei Rublev became the moment when we began to ‘see’. We developed a cinematic conscience just like a child records what would go onto become her first childhood memory. And life has become so much more enriching ever since.
(On cinema part 1)