Andrei Rublev (1966) (Blu-ray Review)

Andrei Rublev (1966) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: Andrei Tarkovsky
STARRING: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko, Irma Raush
AVAILABLE FROM The Criterion Collection

An expansive Russian drama, this film focuses on the life of revered religious icon painter Andrei Rublev (Anatoliy Solonitsyn). Drifting from place to place in a tumultuous era, the peace-seeking monk eventually gains a reputation for his art. But after Rublev witnesses a brutal battle and unintentionally becomes involved, he takes a vow of silence and spends time away from his work. As he begins to ease his troubled soul, he takes steps towards becoming a painter once again.

Are you a sucker for a good art house film? If you are then the Blu-ray of Criterion’s Andrei Rublev will be just for you. First of all, I want to say that this movie looks amazing! This is a black and white film, but the HD transfer here is something that you will want to use to show people just how amazing Blu-ray can still be. The movie is shot with a masterful eye and the disc only helps to capture such things, as this one pops with detail from all around. The story is a strong one but very artsy one as well. So that is one warning I’ll give to anyone who is checking this one out. You have to be a fan of the more abstract artsy style of filmmaking to truly get this one in for what it is.

As this one rolls along we see our main character go through some often bizarre, art-filled, but still stylish scenes. I don’t think a movie like this will be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are into this sort of stuff it really makes for a solid viewing experience. This was a movie made in 1966 but you’d never tell from the way the film comes across. This is one that isn’t locked down to a certain time period and can be appreciated today. I’m sure this Blu-ray will help with that if you want to give it a chance. You also get a lot of great extras here as well.


– New high-definition digital restoration of the director’s preferred 183-minute cut, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– The Passion According to Andrei, the original 205-minute version of the film
– Steamroller and Violin, Tarkovsky’s 1961 student thesis film
– The Three Andreis, a 1966 documentary about the writing of the film’s script
– On the Set of “Andrei Rublev,” a 1966 documentary about the making of the film
– New interviews with actor Nikolai Burlyaev and cinematographer Vadim Yusov by filmmakers Seán Martin and Louise Milne
– New interview with film scholar Robert Bird
– Selected-scene commentary from 1998 featuring film scholar Vlada Petric
– New video essay by filmmaker Daniel Raim
– New English subtitle translation
– PLUS: An essay by critic J. Hoberman