Snapshots of Ivan’s Childhood

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 powerful actor.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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?

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.

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.

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.

-Ozymandias

12 thoughts on “Snapshots of Ivan’s Childhood

  1. It is a nice, although confronting movie with a really nice actor.

    And little known… It is well know and appreciated by some. I also have a list of some really nice movies in the genre. Although most are a bit less serious.

  2. I like movies that strive to be art. And something about the effect of war on children is not done often probably. The beauty of a child only highlights the horror of war, if you ask me. (I don’t mean to be political).

  3. It is a bit of a shame that the third photo was taken out. I mean sure it showed the boy’s butt, but it also was a strikingly beautiful and gloom image. I suppose that’s just how it goes, though, on this blog.
    So it is. So it is.

    • In art things get misinterpreted. If an image creates a mood people think it could be something sexual even though that’s not what is intended. There should to be some concrete reason for looking at it that way within the image itself.

      • Yeah I get that and I truly have no quarrel with the blog, the ole bobby, but there is a part in me that feels that intense disappointment over it, like having a missing piece in a jigsaw. I get that Sascha has every right to deny and alter the posts, but I felt there would be a bit more in the way of objective standards when it comes to grading what gets posted. I feel that some bold line in the sand needs to be drawn in terms of content and acceptability, not vague judgements.
        I like the blog, I honestly do, but it is aggravating.
        I even understand the whole context of the legal precautions he’s taking. How anything questionable should be removed. Better safe than sorry, but with artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Bret Easton Ellis remaining uncensored through the world of art whole, I do highly doubt that a boy’s butt is on the fence of legality. Especially when the entire uncensored movie can be watched on YouTube.
        I do so suppose that he isn’t the only German who has ever censored things before, though.

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