I’ve been thinking a lot about boys in cinema. Most of the boys whom I do so admire in films I’m sure have enough publicity on this blog, like HW Plainview of There Will Be Blood, who is my top place. But the silver medal of thespians goes to a boy in a little known soviet film of the sixties called Ivan’s Childhood.
So I thought I’d spend a few minutes introducing him to you.
This is him, not only one of the most attractive boys, in my personal opinion, but also a talented actor.
The film, directed by the now obscure director Andrei Tarkovsky, was at release praised for its cinematographic beauty, and I’m sure the boy didn’t hinder the film either.
This shot was actually taken by a reflection in a well and the scene was often broken by breakages in the water surface, demonstrating Tarkovsky’s love of reflection and his genius as it foreshadows the peril of the war itself.
Again a shot where a reflection plays a crucial piece in the scene. Also note the dreamlike light making the shot feel hazy. Do also note his bitchin’ sweater.
This again reflects the desolation of war that is crucial to the film and how in the midst of war, this child’s turmoil over losing his home strains him. It’s the ambiguity of his emotions that strikes me the greatest. It could be ponder or grief.
This shot details Tarkovsky’s love of the semi-profile shot in conversation and the distressed look it gives the boy.
This again shows how well he walks the tightrope between shots of horror and utopia. A beautiful shot, a beautiful boy. Again ambiguous emotions. Is it childlike thought, or is it a complexer emotion of loss?
Another stylistic choice that Tarkovsky uses throughout the film. Chiaroscuro. The clashing of lightness and darkness on his face, his hand clasping the bell hammer. Probably also my favorite scene in the film.
A shot where Ivan isn’t the focus point, but instead shares the screen. The light in this scene strikes a powerful spot. How the rays do fall, a hint of peace in the chaos of their surroundings. He still got that sweater game, too!
That’s all I got. Hope you enjoyed. If this gets good reception, I might even make another one. I’ve got a long list of boy actors who deserve more recognition.