Mr. Mankiewicz and Mr. Tarkovsky

Mon, 2007-09-17 22:45

Two more films from this list of directors.

I watched Stalker, by Andrei Tarkovsky. Extremely impressive visually, it looks like nothing else I've ever seen. A little like Eraserhead, kind of like a Joel Peter Witkin, but not so human. He does these long shots with the camera looking straight down into shallow water containing all kinds of interesting things. Very impressive to look at, but rather thin on content: some heavy philosophy, but philosophy we've all thought about before, and it's not as fun to think about it so slowly and quietly.

Definitely is not dated. I didn't realize it was made in 1979 - it feels very modern.

I wasn't terribly surprised to find out that the film actually was shot in a hazardous environment: several of those involved in the film (including Tarkovsky) died of the same cancer.

Unfortunately, I watched the Mankiewicz film, The Barefoot Contessa. Despite being listed as a "must-see" film at TSPDT, I thought it was terrible. I'm not entirely sure this is the director's fault, it seemed to be made like lots of other boring 1950s movies. But the plot is just awful, and it all boils down to a jerk with non-functioning (non-existant?) genitalia. Really. Ugh.

So, the remaining directors are:

  • Visconti
  • von Stroheim
  • Marker
  • Dovzhenko
  • Flaherty
  • Rocha