Tarkovsky is one of those heavy weight names. A film maker who as you get further away from him you realize, he was just making films after all. I think it has to do with the general cultural cachet that being Russian gives someone. I've read Nabokov, Bulgakov, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Gogol. The funny thing is when they were writing there was no such thing as Russian cultural cachet. In fact, they had to struggle not to want to be French, or German. Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice is (I think) a comedy, but I can't be sure. First of all, it's in Swedish. It has Vermeer colour scheme, of paleness, fading to whited out apocalypse. There are elements of somberness to it. The title as well points in the direction of agony as does the use of St Matthew's Passion over the opening titles, (catering by Puck Janssen I noticed as I listened to the lamentation of the prelude). But isn't this a film that is really about a literary critic who has to shag the maid in order to save the world from a nuclear holocaust? And isn't that like funny?
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John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.