Erland Josephson hears some bad news in The Sacrifice.

Erland Josephson hears some bad news in The Sacrifice.

Kino Lorber/Kino Lorber

The Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky was dying as he made his final film The Sacrifice, in 1986; the film editor, Michal Leszczylowski, actually finished directing it. But Tarkovsky, the man behind such metaphysical marvels as Stalker and Solaris, is undoubtedly the film's author. The end of the world is approaching, and a Swedish journalist (Erland Josephson) staggers to figure out what it all means. Between the Swedish setting, Josephson, and cinematographer Sven Nykvist, The Sacrifice bears the fingerprints of Ingmar Bergman. It also feels like an ancestor of my favorite Lars von Trier film, Melancholia. Make no mistake, though: This is pure Tarkovsky, with all the perfectly composed long camera takes and ineffable mystery of the soul that defined his work. Now you can revel in a new 4K restoration from Kino Lorber. It's a fitting tribute to an all-time great's final work.

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