Ivan’s Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962). Criterion was featuring Soviet Cinema on Hulu, so I thought I’d dip my toes in the Tarkovsky waters. (Actually, I saw Solaris back in the 70s ... hated it, although I can’t remember anything about it except it was really long and I was bored.) Ivan’s Childhood (called My Name Is Ivan in the USA for a long time) was Tarkovsky’s first feature, and while I can’t compare it to his consensus classics from later in his career, I can say that it was relatively easy to follow, came in at a decent 95 minutes, and had a great performance from teenager Nikolay Burlyaev as Ivan. The B&W imagery from cinematographer Vadim Yusov is magnificent. The film came during the “Khrushchev Thaw”, one of many Soviet pictures that were relatively personal and less dogmatic than earlier Soviet films. I can’t say Ivan’s Childhood makes me want to binge-watch Tarkovsky movies ... I have a feeling it’s not very typical of his other films. But I liked this one. #361 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 1000 films of all time. 8/10.
Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975). 9/10.