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I've seen it, over the years, at least 3 other times and each time, I find scenes that I'd forgotten--- it's such a powerful experience that this viewer simply cannot process and recall them all.
This viewing I forgot how, in the second part (there, gratefully, is a mid-film intermission) much of the film was about the casting of a massive bell. Though it seems nitpicking, I thought the angelic young bell-caster was miscast (sorry...). He just lacked the gravitas that the viewer had been accustomed to with the Solonitsyn portrayal of the eponymous painter, the skill of the actors who portrayed the other religious figures, and the gaunt master who portrayed the Greek master. Still, that extended casting sequence was almost unmatched in film history. Finally, the ending, which I will not spoil, takes the already enchanted viewer into a visual feast not unlike that which Kubrick supplied at the end of "2001."
OTOH, the only thing that Ms. CfL remembers about the film is the scene when that other monk (Kyril?) kills the dog. (Or you assume he's killed the dog, based on the yelps of the animal.) She refused to watch any more after that - and actually, I respect her choice, even though I've watched the film a couple of times myself.
Reminds me of my sister and her love of our four-legged friends. I'm surprised your wife didn't object to all the horse brutality. Tarkovsky obviously loved those beasts, he featured them in many films. (And yes, it was the pariah Kiril who beat the dog with his cudgel...
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