This week, the Sectarian Review Podcast examines our second Andrei Tarkovsky film. A while back we looked at Andrei Rublev, and this week we take a deep dive into Stalker. In what has become SR tradition, C. Derick Varn joins the show to discuss another Soviet-era cinematic masterpiece. As with Rublev, however, this film also has massive theological implications. James K.A. Smith invokes the film in his work, so it’s good enough for us here at SR. What does this masterwork of World Cinema have to teach us about theology? What role do our desires play in dictating our lives? What the heck is that dog doing? Telekinesis? As always, Tarkovsky gives us a lot to talk about.
A discussion about the all-time great Tarkovsky film Andrei Rublev. Learn about how Tarkovsky made a profoundly religious film in the Soviet system. How does this film reflect on the intersection between politics and religion? What special contributions to Christianity has the Orthodox tradition provided? Is Andrei Rublev the quintessential Christian Humanist film? C. Derick Varn returns for this enlightening discussion.
Has the Radical Left finished cannibalizing itself?
Protestants and Radicals (not so different).
A plug for Andrei Rublev as a Christian Humanist ideal.
Tarkovsky’s career: a religious filmmaker in the Soviet system.
The structure of Andrei Rublev the film.
A plug for Derek’s forthcoming book of poetry.
A brief history of the formation of the Russian state.
Listener question from Twitter-follower Joe McClure.
The specificities of Orthodox Christianity.
There are several versions of this film and Martin Scorsese is involved.
Tarkovsky’s philosophical ideas: Art exists within imperfection, Experience and knowledge must be gained individually, polished art inhibits personal experience, Learn to love solitude.
Andrei Rublev’s plot
The tradition of the jester in pre-Russia.
Theophanes the Greek and the passing down of religious tradition
The Passion instantiates in Russia
An encounter with pagans
The Orthodox discomfort with wrath and punishment
“Oh my God, he made this under Khrushchev!”
Using the atheist state to perpetuate the Gospel
The Last Judgement
Parallels between Andrei Rublev and Game of Thrones
The Holy Fool enters and becomes Rublev’s conscience
A Monk draws blood
Theophanes challenging theology
In the midst of art, theology through chaos
Salvation through the Holy Fool
Kiril’s broken return to God
Difference between Bergman and Tarkovsky
Bell-making as a transcendent act of faith through art
Making art as a God-given role
The return of the Holy Fool
Cut to color and the actual work of Andrei Rublev
Kierkegaard as philosophical grounding
Redemptive work of art
That balloon scene!
Humans are both divine and fallen
How do you film “faith?”
Derek’s boredom with Leftism
Join Danny and C. Derrick Varn for an *in-depth* discussion of the the 1967 Soviet horror film, Viy (based on the Gogol short story). Danny and Derek talk about the cultural significance of Cossacks in Russian history, the Soviet film industry, Ideology, and Eastern Christianity. The film is freely available on YouTube if you want to watch beforehand, but this episode will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Soviet movies where witches terrorize seminary students who don't believe in God.
Link to full film (subtitled)