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Nosthalgia (Andrej Tarkovsky, 1983)

A Russian poet travels through Italy, trying to understand life, but finding his own death.


The film is quite winding and although it kept me interested I often wandered about certain scenes and details. I am not quite a scholar on Tarkovsky's movies so I dare not try to walk those treaded paths.

The most memorable shot is undoubtedly the one with the main character walking through the emptied pool, trying to bring a candle from one end to the other. In this 8 minute (very) long tracking shot the wind blows out the candle twice, before he can finally bring it to the other side - and then dies. The framing starts as full shot and is narrowed to a close up in the final moment.
Questions: What does the broom mean?
 
Another interesting tracking shot is when Andrei visits the old man in this ruined house. When the old man tries to accompany to the front door, they pass through a long hall, that is visually divided by pillars into four rooms. There are a lot of images, symbols and details in those four rooms, something for the followers to ponder over for the next 50 years. As far as I know, Tarkovsky barely gave explanations for his visual choices.

Questions: 1+1=1? The bottle in the middle of the last room in front of the chair? Why does he walk through the door? What's with the dog? Stages of life? (I'm sure I can find all of these answered when I read about the film...)




I felt the visual themes, apart from those long tracking shots that central perspective and symmetry was used a lot There is an interesting exception to that: the man sitting on the bed, with *no* door in the middle of the frame. And the last shot is absolutely breathtaking - doors on all sides.


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