In "Andrei Tarkovsky: Poet in the Cinema," screening at the Nuart through Tuesday, veteran Italian documentarian Donatello Baglivo succeeded admirably in getting the late Soviet director, who was the most enigmatic and least compromising of film makers, to discuss with precision and clarity his work (which is glimpsed in generous, apt clips), his life and his credo. Tarkovsky believed we're on earth to "enhance spirituality" and that the purpose of art is to serve that end. For showtimes: (213) 478-6379, 479-5269.
Filmforum will present the world premiere of Stan Brakhage's 50-minute "Faustfilm: An Opera," plus an array of Brakhage shorts at the Wallenboyd Center Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Made in collaboration with composer Rich Corrigan, "Faustfilm" is the realization of a 31-year-old dream on the part of Brakhage, a giant of the avant-garde cinema. Brakhage's Faust is an ordinary-looking guy (Joel Haertling), described by the film maker as feeling "estranged from God." Shot in several cluttered rooms in an old house, "Faustfilm," a triumph of maximum effects from minimal means, reveals Brakhage's mastery in the use of light and in composition to create piercing images of longing and desire; leave it to Brakhage to discover the cosmic in a homely, everyday setting. Corrigan's eerie score has the sound of "infernal machinery" a la David Lynch. Brakhage will be making his first personal appearance in Los Angeles in five years at this signal event. (213) 276-7452; (714) 628-7331.