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Nostalghia (Widescreen)

Oleg Yankovskiy , Erland Josephson , Andrei Tarkovsky    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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This is another haunting film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky--his first made outside of the Soviet Union. Like all of his films, Nostalghia has a mystical quality, as it follows the spiritual journey of a poet on a research mission in Italy. While traveling with his beautiful Italian interpreter in a Tuscan village, the poet suddenly becomes transfixed by memories of Russia and his family. A local mystic helps him see the right path in his life. Once again, Tarkovsky's imagery is gorgeous, and the narrative insightful. The past and the present collide in existential angst. Truly a cinematic feast for those interested in exploring life's deepest concerns. --Bill Desowitz

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure poetic cinema March 2 2003
Format:DVD
This film to me is the purest example of film poetry I have ever seen. It does not exist on the level of plot, and yet every image is so suggestive of things beyond or beneath the surface that the only thing comparable to it is a profoundly meaningful and haunting dream.
Tarkovsky was tormented by his Soviet-enforced exile from his homeland Russia at the time he made this masterpiece, and the nostalgia he felt was more than for his own home - it was a nostalgia for the spiritual world that is absent in so much of modern life. It is supremely ironic he and his main character - a bitter Russian writer - felt nostalgia for the spirit in one of the most "spiritual" places on earth - Italy. And yet it is frighteningly appropriate today.
There is none of the borrowing from other mediums - whether literature, theater or painting - that is common with other so-called art films. This film is the purest cinema that can exist, because everything is done as an image from reality - a reality that exists in the character's own world, and is transfered to the viewer's by means of the most intense visual imagination.
The actors are so perfect in their roles that they do not seem to be acting at all. That is always a hallmark of Tarkovsky's films - utter realism of human behavior, without the slightest trace of fakery.
Ingmar Bergman called this master of cinema the greatest of all filmmakers, and this is probably his greatest film. It is essential to anyone interested in the medium.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, but not for TV April 22 2001
Format:DVD
It's a great movie. Everytime they screen this in Japan, I go and watch it. The water, the fire, it's beautifully moving film. One of the best films of my life.
However... it's not exactly for TV. The subtle lights do not show very well on the TV screen. Beautiful and subtle shades of darkness that Tarkovski excells at, is often lost. Very often, the screen becomes completely black and we have no idea what's going on. It's much better than the VHS tape that I used to have, but if possible, if you ever have the chance, see it in a movie theater.
That's the only reason that I give it only 4 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars first impressions Feb. 22 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
It's a very slow film. Very pretty. When watching it, some of the time I felt like i was riding in a car across countryside, just staring at the screen absentmindly, absorbing it, but not paying particular attention. It wasn't tedious or boring, but hard to focus. ( i even fell asleep at one point, and had to rewind). I liked the images (esp the burning book, and the leaking building with all the rain). A lot of reminiscence. Everything in the movie was slow, except for the burning of the guy. That scene was very striking. The broken record, the harshness of it, like wailing, and the guy setting himself on fire. It really made me shudder, esp. amid the mellowness of the rest. It was piercing. I like the slowness -- I know a lot of people would find it boring seeing someone walk with a burning candle for 10 minutes. I recommend watching this movie alone - it's less impatience that way, and less expectation. I like the final shot, how he is sitting in his village surrounded by the roman ruins, and the snow starts to fall. It wasn't interesting though, in a normal sense of the word, not entertaining. But it made an impact. A- (? - i feel compelled to give it a minus, but i am not sure for what. i guess for not appealing to popular taste, too artistic). From retrospect, this movie barely has a plot - i suppose it just tried to portray a state more than anything else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a life-changing film Feb. 3 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Tarkovsky was unknown to me until about 10 years ago. I came home late from work and 'Mirror' was being shown on TV. Captivated, I sat up and watched it right through. The film made a huge impact and stayed with me for days. I had to see and know more. And so I obtained copies of all of Tarkovsky's films, somemetimes not so easily, and in prints of varying quality and content. I now know and love them all. 'Mirror' alongside 'Rublev' would seem to me to be his best works, but my personal favourite is 'Nostalghia'.
There is so much that is extraordinary about this film that it is hard to know where to start. The long, beautiful and lyrical shots that linger over everything, always giving a textural, tangible feel to the 'surface' of the film. The lighting, the spare but evocative soundtrack that often highlights mundane sounds, such as the buzz-saw in the central meeting of the two protagonists, and the Russian folk-song that comes at the start and at the end- these things really stay in your memory. The interiors, the mist, the rain, the wind, the dreams that seem to pull the film into a logic of their own. The meeting of the two protagonists in which they barely say a word to each other. I could go on and on.
The ending is extraordinary and emotional; tears will always come for me as I watch Andrei struggle to get the candle across the pool, and the final shot, enigmatic and ambiguous, is one of the most amazing images in contemporary cinema.
Do try to get hold of this film and indeed the others and let it work its magic on you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming with your Eyes Open Jan. 30 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Tarkovsky's "Nostalghia" is, simply put, my favorite film of all time. I know that may sound trite, but it really is true. No other film I've encountered has been so completely lyrical, magical, poetic and deeply human all at the same time. Tarkovsky has created not just a movie, but a work of art that borders on a spiritual experience.
To me "Nostalghia" is about dreams and memory and how they reflect our private longing for "home." The way we carry that sense of place, of where we've been and the people we've loved, with us in our feelings. How in that sense, home and people still live on in our feelings no matter what "strange land" we may find ourselves in. And how that apparent distance, not only in space but in time, gives rise to the most intense and personal feelings of nostalgia.
Technically it's the story of a Russian poet's journey through Italy on a mission to trace the path of a famous Russian composer (Sosnovsky) and to perhaps come to understand why the composer had chosen to return to Russia to die, even though he'd been exiled from there years before. The poet's journey to find Sosnovsky though is more about his own journey to find himself, or a sense of something, a return to the "home" he too carries in his feelings and inhabits his dreams. Along the way he meets a madman and through their mutual understanding is given a small-yet-monumental task of redemption to complete.
There are many layers to the film, some ambiguous at best, some clearly laced with metaphor and meaning. There are also many strikingly poetic moments, often without anything being said, and beautiful transitions between waking (color) and dreaming (b&w) which magically blur the boundaries between the two.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The redemption
Domenico is the key , he's a man who lives (out of reality?) ; but his speech given in the apex sequence is the fundamental nucleus of this monumental work. Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stunning
A good friend advised me to see the film "Nostalghia" by Andrei Tarkovsky. Although not familiar with Tarkovsky or his works and somewhat leery of subtitled movies, I was finally... Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by Larry Dye
4.0 out of 5 stars Remembering one's life and saying goodbye . . .
At least that's what the film conveyed to me. Your guess is as good as mine. For a lark, invite the most die-hard Tarkovsky fan who has not yet seen it, play it on your DVD,... Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2003 by the wizard of uz
5.0 out of 5 stars FILLING SPIRITUAL VOIDS
Andrei Tarkovsky's NOSTALGHIA - like all of his amazing films - is filled with masterfully drawn images that simultaneously make the heart ache and lift it up to the heavens. Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2003 by Larry L. Looney
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Van Gogh?
My view is that Andrei Tarkovsky was for the late 20th Century what Vincent Van Gogh was for the late 19th: the most significant visionary artist of the Western world. Read more
Published on April 30 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Beautiful
Let me first say that Tarkovsky movies are definitely not for everyone, and that if your attention span has been shaped by MTV and pop culture in general, you may not have the... Read more
Published on May 7 2002 by Donald J. Hajicek
5.0 out of 5 stars Guido's lost film
I recently saw NOSTALGHIA for the first time. I have seen all of Tarkovsky's films except THE SACRIFICE and am convinced that Tarkovsky is one of the top world film giants. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2002 by Jim Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars Unrequited Longing
The mercurial nature of this film - its liquidity (incompressible but formless state) - is mesmerizing. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2001 by "ateliermp"
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Skelaton with Unforgettable Sensations
The night I received my copy, I had some heavy homework to be finished, so I thought: "Hmm, I will just take a slight glimspe at it... a glimpse. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2001 by "meatballchange"
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