Ivan’s Childhood

Ива́ново де́тство (Ivan’s Childhood). This was my second TarkovskySolaris was amazing. This one is impressive, especially for his first film. It’s told non-linearly with occasional flashbacks, memories, dreams, and voiceovers creeping in. Ivan is a child orphan who, when we meet him, is doing recon/intelligence for the Soviets during World War II. This movie has a similar gritty take on the war that you find in The Cranes Are Flying. It’s less rhapsodic, but the black and white photography is just as ridiculously good. My favorites are the haunting nighttime scenes along the riverbanks and swamps, and the scenes in those Russian birch forests that are just impossible to make look bad. Criterion essay.


Drummer Gene Krupa performing at Gjon Mili’s studio. NYC, 1941

*Amazing* photographs from LIFE Magazine’s photo archives. Originally featured in the July 9th, 1941 article, “GENE KRUPA SHOWS HOW TO PLAY DRUM IN THESE FANTASTIC SOUND PICTURES.

In these unusual shots Krupa illustrates some rudiments of drumming. They were taken by Gjon Mili’s multiple-exposure camera so you could follow the track of Krupa’s drumsticks whizzing through the air. But they are interesting also as impressionistic portraits of sound, suggesting the rhythmic pandemonium of a Krupa jam session.

….As a drum historian, he likes to tell how Napoleon Bonaparte was once defeated by Russians who were roused to a fighting frenzy by Cossack drummers. Says Krupa proudly, “I have Cossack blood myself.”

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