Director: Tarkovsky

Five Spiritually Significant Films

The fine folks at the Arts and Faith discussion forum have cast their votes, crunched the numbers, and released their second annual list of the Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films. In honor of their fine work, I offer my own obvious and predictable Top 5 list.

Nov 25, 2005
Category: Film, Lists

Damnation (1988)

Would Tarkovsky’s style, siphoned through another imagination, produce a similar effect? Would any of that strange poetic logic survive the translation? Béla Tarr’s Damnation makes for an interesting case study.

Jun 4, 2004
Category: Film, Film Responses

Iron & Wine & Tarkovsky

How strange. I just discovered that Sam Beam, of Iron and Wine, graduated from Florida State’s film school. As an alumnus of that program, my wife receives a monthly email notice, The Warren Report, that offers brief updates on the lives and careers of FSU filmmakers.

May 20, 2004
Category: Film, Music

Faith and Film

After reading about it for the past few months, I found a copy of The Hidden God: Film and Faith on the new releases shelf of the university library during my lunch break today. Given the sensational coverage of film and faith in recent weeks, this collection of short essays is a breath of fresh air.

Mar 22, 2004
Category: Film

Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

Kholin’s and Masha’s encounter is a desperate act of human contact, but it’s also vaguely degrading; it’s a moment of near transcendent delight, but it’s one that feels debased and compromised. I can’t make sense of it, really, though I feel compelled to, which is probably why Ivan’s Childhood is one of the few war films that I return to with any frequency.

May 1, 2003
Category: Film, Film Responses

Tarkovsky and Sandwiches

I spent my lunch hour (and then some) sitting around a table with the senior pastor of a Presbyterian church, the priest of a local Orthodox congregation, and three other laymen, discussing Andrei Rublev.

Jan 7, 2003
Category: Debris, Film

Holy Moments

Film, when rightly enjoyed, can offer holy moments such as this during which we are able to escape, even if only temporarily, from this “extraordinary egoism” into the freedom of God’s grace, experiencing anew the beautiful complexity of his creation and our selfless calling in it.

Oct 22, 2002
Category: Essays, Film

Sculpting in Time

I’ve never read another book like Sculpting in Time. In it Tarkovsky speaks as eloquently about art as he does faith and philosophy, and does so in a remarkably kind, concerned voice.

Feb 22, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Film, Words

Sculpting in Time (1987)

I’ve never read another book like Sculpting in Time. In it Tarkovsky speaks as eloquently about art as he does faith and philosophy, and does so in a remarkably kind, concerned voice. To him, his subject —the unique ability of the cinematic image to touch the soul and inspire spiritual improvement — is quite literally a matter of life and death.

Feb 7, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Film, Words

The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue (1994)

Johnson’s and Petrie’s study is that extremely rare beast: an academic study that is informative, objective (or as close as anyone can get), and readable.

Feb 3, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Film, Words