The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, May 27-June 2

05/27/2015 7:02 AM |

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Andrei Rublev (1966)
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
After the soundscape of Andrei Rublev, Tarkovsky’s second feature—three hours of galloping horses, tortured screams, recitations and arguments over Scripture—all of the silences of Nostalghia and The Sacrifice sound full. In one of this film’s eight chapters, its subject, the 15th-centry Russian icon painter Rublev, himself takes a vow of silence and withdraws from painting, which is perhaps his greatest sin (not that he sins overmuch, being a monk). Inaction, as the living and the dead remind him, is keeping his God-given gift from the world. Tarkovsky’s medieval Rus wasn’t a world Soviet authorities vetted, and the movie was a stark gift they preferred to withhold. Even to the gore-gorged eye, a scene in which artists are casually blinded, so they can’t recreate their work for another employer, looks brutal. But movie-Andrei and director-Andrei understand cruelty isn’t the point—in black-and-white widescreen, the blinded men crawl to one another through the woods. Elina Mishuris (May 31, 2pm, 6:30pm at BAM’s “Black & White ‘Scope: International Cinema”)