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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)
Price: CDN$ 104.29
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Nostalghia (Widescreen) + The Sacrifice: Remastered Edition + Mirror, the [Import]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 155.56

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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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Customer Reviews

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
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
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalghia review April 18 2000
By A Customer
I first saw this film about three years ago on an extreemly worn out VHS copy from my local video store.It was the only Tarkovsky they had so I hired it out, unfortunately the picture and sound quality were terrible which was a shame because it is one of the most beautiful films i have ever seen.The thing about Tarkovsky that many people may find difficult is the pace(darn slow) and the commitment the veiwer may feel he or she is asked to give to the film.I think the common mistake people make is that they think Tarkovsky is intellectual and obscure.His films are about feelings and spirituality(sorry an over used word regarding his work) or the lack of it in modern life: rather than the difficult and earnest ideas many people associate with Tarkovsky.Nostalghia is slow, and i admit that i found this rather frustrating at first but after a while i began to appreciate each image and the the held shots that appear more like paintigs than cinema.Its the sort of film that you need to watch rather than talk about.its sometimes hard to explain exactly what you have seen or indeed heard as Tarkovskys films are so much to do with the senses.If you appreciate misty brooding landscapes and ancient crumbling italian architecture then this film may be for you.Its a shame that in our modern and slightly sterile existence we feel we have less time to just look and feel.Instead ridiculously overblown storys and images are shown to us so fast that there is little time to judge the quality or morality of what we look at.Special effects alone don't make a film (I dont need to mention names): its probably the things that people don't even notice like sound, colour, and editing.But Tarkovsky did and it shows.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remembering one's life and saying goodbye . . . Nov. 25 2003
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, pretend you have an urgent phone call, leave the room and come in half an hour later and ask: " Sorry about that. So, tell me, what's going on? "
Tarkovsky dedicated this film to his mother. As usual there are wonderfully composed shots worthy of Vermeer or El Greco ( No, not Van Gogh, he's too bright, colorful and explosive. ) The camera dollies slowly from left to right, and sometimes, for the sake of a slower pace, back along the same track from right to left. Often we get gothic archways, raindrops and mist. There are also actors but they appear secondary to the camera. The color goes from black and white to twilight blue to full color and back again to black and white. Did I mention slowly?
But what's the heck's the story?
There is one, really. But Tarkovsky's style is a knockout punch in the final round. The rest is a set up, albeit a sumptuosly photographed one. Don't even try to anticipate the conflict or what's coming next. Just groove on the 'paintings' on film and let him take you for a ride.
I've said what it meant to me and will only add that the climax---which sounds absurd if you try to explain it----kept me in great suspense. Damn! Will he or won't he manage to take the lighted candle across the pool on the third try?
I felt as if the fate of all humanity depended on it. Or perhaps it was a futile but noble gesture, Or an allegory on all art. I don't know but I wish I did, it kept me on the edge of my seat.
Better than Rublev and far, far better that The Sacrifice.
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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
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 first impressions
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,... Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars a life-changing film
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2002 by andrew john raiskums
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming with your Eyes Open
Tarkovsky's "Nostalghia" is, simply put, my favorite film of all time. I know that may sound trite, but it really is true. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2002
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. 14 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"
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