Dreams, mirrors and subjective filtration in Ivan's Childhood
Author: Efird, Robert
Source: Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema, Volume 3, Number 3, December 2009 , pp. 289-308(20)
Abstract:Though Ivan's Childhood (1962) is often viewed in the context of Andrei Tarkovsky's later masterpieces it easily stands on its own considerable merits, offering a compelling synthesis of form and theme. This article examines the thematic implications of the film's complex narrative structure and its bold manipulation of perspective. Tarkovsky's first feature-length film uses prominent visual motifs, such as mirrors and mirrored images, across two distinct, yet occasionally interacting narrative planes. An analysis of the shifts in spatial attachments, objective and subjective camera angles sheds new light on the relationship between the title character Ivan and Lieutenant Gal'tsev, as well as the film's enigmatic closing scene. Far from being an extradiegetic coda tacked on by a young and inexperienced artist, the final dream sequence fits quite naturally into the narrative progression of the film despite the logical contradiction that the apparent dreamer, Ivan, is dead when it takes place.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2009-12-01
- Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema focuses on pre-revolutionary, Soviet and post- Soviet film, its aesthetic development, and its position between ideology and industry. SRSC invites contributions that constitute original research. The journal seeks to promote research from established scholars as well as to encourage researchers new to the field.
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