Nostalgia

Nostalgia ★★★★

If you want to be whisked away by the artistic and abstract side of film as a medium, Tarkovsky's Nostalghia makes for a fine choice. Light on plot but thematically dense, I found it very easy to lose myself in this finely crafted world. I have to echo the opinions of others in saying this film really should be better known among his work.

Ambiguity is one of the reasons I love Tarkovsky's work so much. I'm admittedly no expert at interpreting meaning behind scenes, but the one that really stood out to me was the candle carrying sequence. I'm sure there are many ways to interpret it but I see it as a person's struggle against the world and the things that hold them back; as they inch closer to their goal one slip up will extinguish the flame and they have to start right back at the start. The fact that it's one long take impressed me even more.

Nostalghia's protagonist is quite an interesting one. Andrei is seemingly disillusioned by his experiences in Italy, he grows less and less interested and this slowly dissolves his relationship with the Interpreter that joined him. For me he was a bit of a mixed bag as a character; while homesickness is a common issue, I found it difficult to relate to him and become invested in anything he did until he finds a source of inspiration a bit further on and after that his character improves significantly with some great dialogue and that amazing candle scene.

I've repeatedly praised the visual style in each of Tarkovsky's movies and I'm going to do the same thing here. Nostalghia is another beautiful film to look at, and I really liked some of the visual cues such as the lights in a hallway turning off when Eugena accidentally trips over herself and falls down. It kind of feels like all of his techniques up until now were combined in this film, the camerawork is once again exquisite and I adore the still shots where nothing moves and the viewer gets to spend a minute just absorbing the wonderful atmosphere that he creates.

Yet another fantastic piece of cinema, Tarkovsky is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors.