Monday, January 8, 2018

Memorable Scenes from Ivan’s Childhood by Andrei Tarkovsky

• The opening shot: a beautiful blond-haired boy, Ivan, stands by a tree, looking at the viewer through the greenery. The camera slowly pans up the tree to the very top and gives us a view of the boy walking away.

• Later, a view into a small stove, its fire raging; in the background, the sound of trickling water.

• Two beautiful children, Ivan and a young girl, sit on a truck loaded with apples. It’s raining and the camera closes in on their rain-soaked faces. The apples are slick with rain, as he chooses one and hands it to her. Later, some of the apples will spill across a beach where several horses come to eat them. (Rain is another visual trope in Tarkovsky’s films, the rain that is life-giving and fecund and the rain that washes away and erases memory and the past.)

• A warplane projects at an angle out of the earth where it crashed.

• A close-up of a man’s hand carefully placing two eggs, some chunks of dark bread, a piece of cheese on a cloth.

• A beautiful young woman, a nurse, with dark hair and ivory skin stands in a forest thick with straight white birches.

• The sky reflected in a swamp; distant flares falling from the heavens at night.

• A strange metallic cross, with several circles at its centre, stands crookedly against the sky.

• This film seems to represent and commemorate the murdered childhoods of millions of children during World War II, including the lost childhood of Tarkovsky himself.