Thursday, December 13, 2007

Katok i skripka (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1961) aka Steamroller and Violin

Steamroller and Violin (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1961)
Rating: 8.5

A delightful short film about a seven year old boy from a wealthy family who plays the violin. Tarkovsky employs the ole "opposites attract" chestnut as the boy befriends a blue collar steamroller and becomes the envy of the children in the neighborhood until the two are forced to part ways due to circumstances beyond their control. This was Tarkovsky's graduate film and certainly lacks the dream-like style of his future efforts, but still remains an impressive piece foreshadowing things to come with rain and water motifs, along with the reflections (mirrors) in the puddles. The camera work, lighting, and shot selections are expertly chosen as well. The film obviously is a product of it's time and culture, as the themes of communism and the optimism of rebuilding a better Russia are less than subtle. An eye catching shot and perhaps the most poignant moment in the film comes when an old building in the foreground comes crumbling down after being struck by a wrecking ball, only to reveal a taller more beautiful building glistening in the sunlight.

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