Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Tarkovsky

The great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky is one of the most difficult directors to grasp. A lot of people proclaim his films are too slow, too long and need extensive trimming in several scenes. But I believe his films which include long philosophical and existential dialogue and extensive and sinuous tracking shots, have audiences slow down, relax, and enter his world of complete meditation. When he allows a sequence to continue for what seems like an unreasonable length, he gives audiences a choice: They can either be restless and bored or they can give their minds a time to consolidate what they have just seen, what they have just heard, and what they have just witnessed. It gives them a chance to process their thoughts and feelings in terms of their very own reflections. Many viewers who aren’t used to the calm and meditative works of Bergman, Dreyer, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni or Tarr wouldn’t stand a chance of sitting all the way through a Andrei Tarkovsky film. Tarkovsky had a profound undercurrent of spirituality and consciously embodied the idea of a Great Filmmaker, making works that were uncompromisingly serious and ambitious, with no regard whatever for the audience, what the audience wanted or box office records. Officials at Goskino were critical of his film Stalker (1979) and by trying to give the point of view of the audience, told Tarkovsky that the film should be faster and more dynamic. Tarkovsky supposedly retorted: “I am only interested in the views of two people: one is called Bresson and one called Bergman.” Tarkovsky’s adolescent war story Ivan’s Childhood (1962), his controversial historical epic Andrei Rublev (1966) and his autobiographical poem the Mirror (1975) are the filmmaker’s greatest and most significant achievements. But it is his science-fiction films Stalker (1979) Solaris (1972) and The Sacrifice (1986) that have gradually throughout the years gained a cinematic cult following; probably because of its supernatural themes that dealt with Philosophy, Metaphysics, Empiricism, Existentialism and the memories on the consciousness of the human psyche. Andrei Tarkovsky is considered the greatest director to have emerged from Russia since the legendary director Sergei Eisenstein, and the reason that his films are not as widely known is because they are the most abstract, exhaustive, metaphysical, and intellectual, films that stem closest to the literary definition of art. His contribution to the cinema over the years has been immense, even though Tarkovsky only completed a total number of seven feature films. All throughout his film-making career, Tarkovsky, having to deal with the constant struggles with the conservative Soviet regime, could make only a handful of movies, each of which can serve to be a live thesis on spiritualism and theology, all the while mastering the use of time, space and diegetic sounds, expressing what many would think would be inexpressible within the cinema.



Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky Featured Films

Articles and Essays on Andrei Tarkovsky

Mirror, The (1975)

The great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s transcendent autobiographical poem The Mirror is a film that blends the themes of childhood memories, dreams, emotional abandonment and loss of innocence with slight touches of documentary footage which can be looked at as a political commentary on Russian history and of its people. The film shifts from three different timelines […]

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Solaris (1972)

Along with the artists of Ingmar Bergman, Carl Dreyer, Robert Bresson and Yasujiro Ozu; the great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky was an artist that sculpted and created his own universe for himself and himself only. Tarkovsky is one of the most difficult directors to grasp, as he had a profound undercurrent of spirituality and consciously embodied […]

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One of the great artistic Science Fiction films

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Stalker (1979)

“What was it? A meteorite? A visit of inhabitants of the cosmic abyss? One way or another our small country has seen the birth of a miracle-the Zone. We immediately sent troops there. They haven’t come back. Then we surrounded the Zone with police cordons. Perhaps, that was the right thing to do. Though, I don’t […]

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Andrei Rublev (1966)

The great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky is one of the most difficult directors to grasp. A lot of people proclaim his films are too slow, too long and need extensive trimming in several scenes. But I believe his films which include long philosophical and existential dialogue and extensive and sinuous tracking shots, have audiences slow down, relax, and enter his world of complete meditation. When […]

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Andrei Tarkovsky
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