Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Running time: 149 minutes
It's impossible to list all the reasons why I selected the two films. Each movie is a masterpiece in story telling, and both movies reach moments of historic image making. The most poignant thread between the two films, for me, has to do with a negotiation of concealment while taken on the epic odyssey. Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice, begins with the external world and slowly spirals into a deeply internal and dreamlike state pitted against an invisible catastrophic leviathan. Kurosawa's film, The Hidden Fortress, on the other hand, builds it's plot in exactly the opposite fashion, it begins with pure concealment and as the story progress everything slowly, and helplessly starts to reveal itself, as if unraveling; it's beauty seems to stem from the characters will to conceal as long as possible until home is reached. This last point also applies to The Sacrifice. I am drawn to both films for the humor and irony, beauty and depth that both directors achieved in balancing and reversing our notion of nature and state, politics and people, the external and internal, wealth and ideals, utopia and salvation, dreams and imprisonment. These two films are poetic examples of cinema - story telling - at it's best. They have both inspired my views on art and how to convey a story.
Ernesto Caivano 2012
Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, The Sacrifice was made in 1986, shortly before the director's death. Often called Tarkovsky's last testament since he was aware that he had terminal cancer when making it, it is dedicated, with “hope and confidence”, to the director's young son, Andrejusja. Exemplifying the Russian director's practice of using the slow take and of seeing filmmaking as “sculpting in time”, The Sacrifice is a spiritual parable, which considers the Christian concept of self-sacrifice in the interests of community. Set amid the bleak landscape of Gotland, an island near to Fårö and employing Sven Nykvist, Bergman's favoured cinematographer for the camerawork, The Sacrifice is Tarkovsky's most 'Bergmanesque' film. It centres around Alexander, a wealthy writer and lecturer who lives in a beautiful house with his wife, teenage stepdaughter Marta and young “mute” son – fondly known as “Little Man”. As family and friends get together to celebrate Alexander's 50th birthday, their party is broken by the announcement of a third World War. Faced with the possibility of nuclear annihilation, Alexander makes a desperate pact with God to sacrifice everything he owns in an attempt to stem fate. A complex and ambiguous film The Sacrifice deals starkly with the more intangible elements of existence – the contradictions of faith, the power of art and the passing of time.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.