This course is offered online in synchronous format.
Andrei Tarkovsky is universally acknowledged to be the greatest Soviet filmmaker of the last half of the twentieth century. Kurosawa claimed that Tarkovsky had "no equal among film directors alive now." Bergman called his work "a miracle." His films are beautiful, intellectually challenging, and spiritually profound. They also represent a prolonged exploration of the potential of the long take - unusually extended, continuous shots. Tarkovsky's works range from Ivan's Childhood, a study of wartime experience through the eyes of a child; to Solaris, a philosophical essay in the form of a science-fiction thriller; to Andrei Rublev, an investigation of the power of art and spirituality. In this course, we will study Tarkovsky's films and life, with attention to his formal and artistic accomplishments, his thought and writings, and the cultural and political contexts of his work. Each student will learn to analyze film form and content and write two short and one longer paper on some longstanding aspect of Tarkovsky's work of the student's choice.