Combustible Celluloid
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With: Igor Fomchenko, Vladimir Zamansky, Marina Adzhubei, Natalya Arkhangelskaya
Written by: Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrei Tarkovsky, based on a story by S. Bakhmetyeva
Directed by: Andrei Tarkovsky
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Russian with English subtitles
Running Time: 43
Date: 12/30/1961

The Steamroller and the Violin (1960)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Strings Attached

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Steamroller and the Violin (1960, Facets, $24.95) may sound like two PBS documentaries accidentally collided. But it's actually a student film by the great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who later went on to make Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Stalker and The Sacrifice. It's about a little boy (Igor Fomchenko) who plays the violin and suffers teases and taunts from the neighborhood bullies until one day a steamroller driver (Vladimir Zamansky) rescues him. The two form a fast friendship that lasts throughout the day until a twist of fate changes things. Though Tarkovsky was wet behind the ears at the time, you can already see evidence of his genius and his obsession with mirrors and reflections. It's only about 43 minutes long and well worth the effort.

DVD Details: Facets rescued the film and restored it for this DVD; the colors are beautiful but the film shows a few scratches and such.

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