Blu-ray Review: Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev on the Criterion Collection

Andrei Tarkovsky’s second feature, Andrei Rublev, takes place against a vast backdrop that magnificently illuminates the vision and soulfulness of the eponymous 15th-century monk and icon painter (Anatoly Solonitsyn), evincing a complex understanding of spirituality and faith that would inform all of the Russian auteur’s subsequent films. Andrei is introduced to us as a man who radiates serene piety, projecting the ideal image of devoutness as he travels the countryside of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, visiting cathedrals in search of places to ply his art. His behavior sharply contrasts with the nervousness of his colleagues, fellow monk artists Daniil (Nikolai Grinko) and Kirill (Ivan Lapikov), who move through the cold, harsh land in scuttling fashion, motions that give away their anxiety about leaving the safety of their monastery. The other monks’ pragmatism becomes a foil for Andrei’s idealism, which is increasingly challenged over the course of Andrei Rublev’s running time. Daniil and Kirill’s fears are somewhat justified by the despair of feudalism that rages outside their monastery. Incessant rain turns barren lands—dotted by the craggy, inextricable stumps of recently fel...

With the stated intent of combating illegal immigration, Senators Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham

With the stated intent of combating illegal immigration, Senators Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) are crafting new legislation to institute a national identification card. The card would be required in order to be eligible for employment, and would in turn enable employers to identify and reject illegal immigrants who are seeking work. The card would be biometric, i.e., containing identifying characteristics unique to the physiology of the cardholder. In this case the biometrics would most likely be comprised of either a fingerprint or a scan of the veins on the back of the hand. This is not the first time a biometric card has been proposed: in the wake of 9-11, there was a strong push for a national ID card on the basis of national security. Schumer and Graham claim that the institution of a national ID would not be accompanied by the creation of a complementary database; however, no national identification system has ever operated independently of a database. It would be impossible to run a national ID system without a corresponding database available for purposes of verification. Thus, although the card would initially include only biometric and citizen...