Tuesday, December 1, 2020

THE SCHOOL OF TARKOVSKY: BI GAN


Stalker / Long Day's Journey Into Night

 

While Bi Gan has listed everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Hou Hsiao-hsien as some of his directorial influences - no other filmmaker’s residue has rubbed off on his work more than Andrei Tarkovsky.
Over the last year and half he’s mentioned Tarkovsky in almost every interview during his press run for Long Day’s Journey Into Night. But, as you’ll see in the examples below, Gan’s history with the films of Tarkovsky started long before 2019...

The first time I wanted to watch “Stalker” was because the director looks like my Grandpa. As I watched it, I felt it is very awful and I thought that this world famous director cheated me. I wanted to critique this film so I thought I should finish watching it first. However, it was too hard for me at that time, I could only watch five to ten minutes each day. Finally, I finished it one day and I went to the school cafeteria for lunch, thinking I could proudly write an essay to criticize Tarkovsky when I got back to my room. Suddenly, something bumped into my mind: why can’t film be like this? Can you achieve aesthetics through how you film? - Bi Gan

From his lesser known shorts (Secret Goldfish), to his earlier feature films (Kaili Blues), Tarkovsky has been a visual reference point for Bi Gan since dearly on. He’s borrowed from just about every Tarkovsky period from Ivan’s Childhood through Nostalghia.

Enjoy...


When I watched Tarkovsky’s film “Stalker” in college, I was shocked again and it totally subverted my concept about film - Bi Gan

Stalker /
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Stalker /
Long Day's Journey Into Night

Stalker /
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Stalker /
Long Day's Journey Into Night

Stalker /
Long Day's Journey Into Night

Ivan's Childhood/ 
Long Day's Journey Into Night



I started discovering Tarkovsky and other filmmakers who inspired me to go in another direction - Bi Gan


Stalker / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Stalker / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Stalker / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Stalker / 
Kaili Blues


Stalker / 
Kaili Blues


Stalker / 
Kaili Blues


Stalker / 
Kaili Blues


Stalker / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Andrei Rublev / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Ivan's Childhood / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Andrei Rublev / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Andrei Rublev / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Nostalghia / 
Long Day's Journey Into Night


Stalker / 
Secret Goldfish


26 MOVIES FROM HELL PODCAST: GANJA & HESS/THE ADDICTION

 


I joined the guys over at the 26 movies from hell podcast to talk non-vampire VAMPIRE films. Specifically Bill Gunn's Ganja & Hess and Abel Ferrara's The Addiction.

Click here or the image above to go to the episode.

Monday, November 23, 2020

ZEBRAS IN AMERICA EPISODE #140: CHARLES BURNETT

 


Charles Burnett was kind enough to chat with Scott & I about 30 years of To Sleep With Anger, spirituality, legacy, Los Angeles and more (click here or the image above to go to the episode)


WRONG REEL EPISODE #525 – 25th Anniversary Double Feature: Casino & Heat

 


In case you missed it, Rob Cotto & I joined James on Wrong Rell to chat about the 25th anniversary of both Heat & Casino (click here or the image above to go to the episode).

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

THE SCHOOL OF PERSONA PART ELEVEN

Here's the latest entry in my ongoing exploration into the visual similarities shared between Bergman's Persona and countless other films.

Enjoy...

Persona /
Ex Machina

Persona /
Come and See


Persona /The Skin I Live In

Persona /The Skin I Live In

Persona /
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Persona /
The Truman Show

Persona /Oldboy

Persona /Oldboy

Persona /
Pain and Glory

Persona /
Single White Female

Persona /
Inland Empire

Persona /
Bad Blood


Persona /Minnie & Moskowitz

Persona /Kill Bill

Persona /Images

Persona /
Images

Persona /
Images


Friday, October 16, 2020

THE SCHOOL OF TARKOVSKY PART 26: THE ENCHANTED DESNA



Andrei Tarkovsky's Ivan’s Childhood and Yuliya Solnsteva's The Enchanted Desna have some basic similarities in terms plot. Both films deal with Soviet History under the umbrella of war through the eyes of young children for the most part (both Tarkovsky & Solnsteva play with the idea of time, flashbacks & memory as well).

But it’s the imagery of both films that really ties them together. 

Solnsteva already had a rich & long history in Soviet cinema long before Tarkovsky was even born (she’s mostly known as an actress for her lead role in Aelita: Queen Of Mars)...

Aelita: Queen Of Mars


And I can’t make a blog entry like this without mentioning Aelita’s strong influence on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis...

Aelita: Queen Of Mars / Metropolis


Aelita: Queen Of Mars / Metropolis

Aelita: Queen Of Mars / Metropolis

Aelita: Queen Of Mars /
Metropolis

Aelita: Queen Of Mars /
Metropolis

Aelita: Queen Of Mars /
Metropolis



But just because a filmmaker has been established for decades doesn’t mean they're above influence from the younger generation. Even visually. As you’ll see below, there are way too many specific examples (both major & minor) of visual similarities between both films that would lead me to believe she was subconsciously influenced by Tarkovsky’s feature debut.

I think the examples below back my theory. Enjoy...

Ivan's Childhood /
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna
Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna

Ivan's Childhood / 
The Enchanted Desna


It also should be noted that Tarkovsky was influenced by the films of Solnsteva’s husband (Alexander Dovzhenko) which makes for an interesting additional connection....

The opening to Dovzhenko's Ivan seemed to have rubbed off on the opening sequence of Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev...

Ivan / Andrei Rublev

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