Sunday, 17 January 2016

The Passion According to Martin

More musings on Tarkovsky... Some discussion earlier about the forthcoming Artificial Eye Blu-Ray of Andrei Rublev and whether it will contain the long 205min cut of the shorter 185min version had me thinking of the story of Martin Scorsese obtaining a print of the extremely rare 205min Rublev in the early 90's whilst visiting Russia. A print of the 205min version was preserved in secret by Tarkovsky's editor Lyudmila Feiginova before Goskino officials ordered the film trimmed for length and contentious material. According to legend this print was stored under a bed before eventually passing to Scorsese and finally to Criterion for their 1994 laserdisc edition. It's a wonderful account of clandestine film preservation and triumphant rediscovery and perhaps understandable if the story has been embellished somewhat - I've read discussions of the film in which Scorsese "smuggles" Rublev out of Russia, which conjures up noirish images of Scorsese carting the outlaw print onto a Moscow runway with the Intelligence agency hot on his heels. The truth was more sober. When Tarkovsky's sister Marina was asked in 2003 if Lyudmila Feiginova's heroic act of preservation in the Soviet era was dangerous, she replied: "No, it did not pose any particular danger. Nobody knew about it, and nobody would have cared anyway." Still, it would make a rather interesting film I think...

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