Andrei Tarkovsky: A tribute and a Greek connection

Despite the dominance of the commercial film distribution network, which often leaves no room for anything but blockbuster movies, there are some cinemas and smaller distribution centers that try to offer more choices to those who love variety in film. Such is the tribute to Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, which kicks off tonight at the Trianon Filmcenter and will run to February 6. The tribute will focus on Tarkovsky’s early years, namely on the shorts he did before his first feature film «Ivan’s Childhood.» The program features the three shorts «The Killers,» «There will be no Leave Today» and «The Steamroller and the Violin» as well as «Ivan’s Childhood.» Two documentaries about the great Russian filmmaker, «Une journee d’Andrei Arsenevitch» by Chris Marker and Aleksandr Sokurov’s «Moscow Elegy,» will also be screened. The tribute’s main feature, «Ivan’s Childhood,» has not been screened in a Greek movie theater for 30 years. One of Tarkovsky’s most well-known productions, it received the Golden Lion at the 1962 Venice Film Festival. Not many people know that Tarkovsky co-directed his first student short film «The Killers» with his then fellow student and close friend Maria Beikou. At a recent press conference, Beikou talked about her friend Andrei and the experience of their joint film production, the original tape of which was lost until only recently. She said it was their first student production and that it was filmed under the guidance of their teacher, Mikhail Romm. Tarkovsky suggested that Beikou, Aleksandr Gordon and himself take to the big screen Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same title. Beikou, who has maintained a close friendship with Tarkovsky’s family, said that he was a very stylish man who formed a special relationship with the actors. «He was very relaxed with them. He let them do what they wanted and guided them through their improvisations.» Tarkovsky was greatly interested in Greece. «He knew a lot about ancient Greece, but nothing of modern Greece and kept asking. He always wanted to travel here and, in a way, he did.» Trianon, 21 Kodringtonos, tel 210.821.5469.