2007-2008 : filmplus.org/tarkovsky Mirror veotag.com-anatolant
and filmplus.org/kino/films [ and movies.ru ]
Russian cinema after Tarkovsky [KINO] [ru] and other pages in Russian.
Tarkovsky & Orthodoxy (where?)
Tarkovsky and Tarkovsky [Father and Son]
vids [web-videos] -- Tarkovsky's clips
[ where? ]
... caligari.vtheatre.net, dreams and visul poetry:
cine101.com and Film in Ethiopia?
Folks, I placed some texts in Russian -- film.vtheatre.net/tarkovsky.ru Cyrillic...
Summary... see The Possessed -- Dostoevsky.
Questions1987 (in Russian) About Tarkovsky in Russian
tarkovsky.org Time Within Time (81-7046-260-6), both diary and notebook of Andrey Tarkovsky, covers the years from 1970 until his death. Intimate, intense and deeply personal, it answers many of the questions which his admirers would like to ask.
There are reflections on Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Hesse, Mann; quotations from Seneca, the Desert Fathers, Henry Thoreau, Nabokov; plays; lists and letters. He writes of this family, in particular of his poet father, Arseniy Tarkovsky, whose poems are pat of his films; of his delight in his wooden house in the countryside, of his joy in his wife and his little son.
Haunting dreams are recorded in detail. He speaks of the state of society, the future of art; there are harsh-often funny-remarks about the bureaucrats in charge of the Soviet cultural scene in general and cinema in particular (he gives the text of his letter supporting Paradzhanov when the later was arrested). He notes significant world events and purely personal dramas long with fascinating background details of the making of his films.
Also included in this volume are the plans and notes for his stage version of Hamlet; a detailed proposal for a two-part film of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot; and a glimpse of the more public Tarkovsky answering questions put to him by interviewers and an interested audience.
Sculpting in Time : Reflections on the Cinema by Andrey Tarkovsky, Kitty Hunter-Blair 0292776241
Tarkovsky, who died in exile in 1986, was considered by some Western film critics to be one of Russia's foremost latter-day filmmakers. His image-rich nonlinear style was apparently little understood or appreciated in his own country and his films received poor distribution. Tarkovsky elaborates in much detail on his theory of filmmaking, including editing, music, film acting, and what he calls "rhythm," which he considers the dominant factor. The translation appears to be excellent, but the book would have benefited greatly from an introductory essay setting the director's aesthetics and career in perspective. An important addition for large cinema collections. Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
... "Everything that torments me, everything I don’t have and that I long for, that makes me indignant or sick, or suffocates me, everything that gives me a feeling of light and warmth, and by which I live, and everything that destroys me - it’s all there in your film, I see it as if in a mirror. For the first time ever film has become something real for me, and that’s why I go to see it, I want to get right inside it, so that I can really be alive."
Andrey Tarkovsky, the Russian film director, quoting a letter he received, in his book Sculpting Time.
Stalker Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1979, 161 min.
Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 masterpiece, like his earlier Solaris, is a very free and allegorical adaptation of an SF novel, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic. After a strange meteorite hits the earth, the region where it's fallen is sealed off; known as the Zone, it is believed to have magical powers that can grant the secret wishes of those who enter it, but it can be penetrated only illegally and with special guides. One such guide (Aleksandr Kaidanovsky), the stalker of the title, leads a writer and a professor (Nikolai Grinko and Anatoli Solonitsin) through the grimiest industrial wasteland you've ever seen to reach the epiphany. What they find is pretty harsh, and it has none of the usual satisfactions of SF quests. But Tarkovsky, who regards their journey as a contemporary spiritual quest, does such remarkable things with his mise en scene--particularly very slow and elaborately choreographed camera movements--that you may be mesmerized nonetheless. With Alice Friendlich. - J. Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader
The Film's Graphic Realisation : This section offers a glimpse of how Tarkovsky worked on set, describing his approach to collaboration. "It is essential that [the crew] should not be in any way mere functionaries; they have to participate as creative artists in their own right, and be allowed to share in all your feelings and thoughts" (135). He talks specifically about his relationship with the camera-man, who he refers to as a "co-author," and explains how he worked with Georgi Rerberg and Vadim Yusov. This section is featured prominently in Directed by Andrey Tarkovsky, the documentary that is included on The Sacrifice DVD. 8
The Film Actor : Again, Tarkovsky's approach (in this case, to directing actors) is a distinct break from the Soviet tradition, particularly that of Stanislawski. While he sees much value for the theater in what has become known as method acting, he argues that film actors, like their directors, should find inspiration in subjective experience. "The one thing the film actor has to do is express in particular circumstances a psychological state peculiar to him alone, and do so naturally, true to his own emotional and intellectual make-up, and in the form that is only right for him" (141). Free to perform without restraint, the actors then provide the director true experience from which he selects the "stuff" of his film.
Music and Noises : Tarkovsky's discussion of sound, not surprisingly, begins with its relationship to the cinematic image: "But music is not just an appendage . . . It must be an essential element of the realization of the concept as a whole . . . it must be so completely one with the visual image that if it were to be removed from a particular episode, the visual image would not just be weaker in its idea and impact, it would be qualitatively different" (158). As is often the case when one attempts to write about music (who said it's like "dancing about architecture"?), Tarkovsky slips more noticeably here into poetic (rather than hard, practical) language. It makes for wonderful reading, but I'm still unsure about his exact approach: "Above all," he writes, "I feel that the sounds of this world are so beautiful in themselves that if only we could learn to listen to them properly, cinema would have no need of music at all" (162).
Tarkovsky Links CZ ***
“Meditative, metaphysical, uncommonly lyrical, remarkably textured, and incomparably visual, Tarkovsky’s is a cinema of moral and spiritual questing, of powerful apocalyptic poetry, of tour-de-force long takes and tracking shots, of expressive monochrome and muted colour, of unforgettable images and dreamlike landscapes. Steeped in Eastern Orthodox mysticism, abounding in elemental symbolism, sometimes venturing forth into hauntingly enigmatic science fiction, Tarkovsky’s films conjure up an hermetic, hallucinatory world that often speaks, forcefully, resonantly, mysteriously, more directly to the subconscious than to the rational mind. The result is cinema of the rarest order: transcendent, transfixing and transformative, rigorous and redemptive, utterly singular.” Jim Sinclair, Pacific Cinematheque.
... and the first big film:
"The list of films Tarkovsky wanted to make, but could not for various reasons, makes dreary reading. His official number is eight and half films. It could certainly
be twice as many, considering his enormous creativity, addiction to work, and, even more important, the host of ideas crowding his imagination. His energy as, however, sapped by routine criticisms (often one more silly and ridiculous than
the next), hairsplitting, corrections, suggestions and stupid demands (such as "a film must be shot for the upcoming anniversary of the youth league"). There is much about his anguish in his diary he appropriately called Martyrlogue."
4.4.07 -- Tarkovsky 75 [ picasa album as guide ]
... 2009 updates?
"He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist." ~ Francis of AssisiTarkovsky: Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world, that is the meaning of cinema.
Again, the biographical data from Encarta
Tarkovsky, Andrey (1932-1986), Soviet motion-picture director, internationally renowned for his highly personal and symbolic films. The son of noted Russian poet Arseny Tarkovsky, Andrey grew up in the artists' community of Peredelkino, near Moscow and studied filmmaking at the Soviet Union's premier film school, Higher State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). Tarkovsky came to international prominence with his first feature-length film, Ivanovo Detstvo (My Name is Ivan, also released as Ivan's Childhood, 1962), set during World War II (1939-1945). The film won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1962 for its sensitive and visually striking portrayal of a Soviet boy spying behind enemy lines.What is so special about Tarkovsky that he made to the top three-four Soviet directors included in Encarta?
In 1966 Tarkovsky released his next film, Andrei Rublev, an ambitious epic of Russia during the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century). The film focuses on a great painter of icons (religious figures or events) who lives in the midst of political and religious turmoil. Now widely regarded as Tarkovsky's masterpiece, Soviet authorities banned the film within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) until 1971. Tarkovsky encountered fewer political obstacles with Solaris (1972), a science-fiction story with spiritual overtones. Zerkalo (The Mirror, 1974), Tarkovsky's most autobiographical film, used fragments of memories from his childhood and his father's poetry to create a deeply personal statement. He returned to the science-fiction genre with Stalker (1979), set in a bleak, forbidding landscape that many interpreted as an allegory of the field of religion as it then existed in the Soviet Union.
Tarkovsky traveled to Italy to film Nostalghia (Nostalgia, 1983), about a contemporary Russian in Italy who is researching the life of an obscure 18th-century Russian composer. After completing the film, Tarkovsky created a political scandal by publicly announcing that he would not return to the Soviet Union. He directed his final work, Offret (The Sacrifice, 1986), in Sweden. The film, a meditative work concerning the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse, won several international awards.
My notes on "Mirror" are inspired by the attitude he projected as a filmmaker -- the importance of Art in making movies, the language of the screen and its poetry.
What is style?
We talk about storytelling, when we discuss plot. But "story" isn't just a chain of events, it's not about WHAT we show, but HOW we show it. In fact, HOW is WHAT in art.
.... The most difficult and important lessons in film-making are not in making films, but thinking about making them. Director has to search for a visual image (different from images produced by our imagination -- words) with the imtensity a poet looking a single word. One of my favorite shots in "Mirror" is a bird on the boy's head. They were looking for this image for three days, writing the screenplay. Why and what is so significant in this shot?
See POV chapters
on philosophy of cinema Andrei Tarkovsky's Madonna del Parto by James Macgillivray ***
I ask my directing students to play a game -- write down everything you associate with the shot. Bird -- soul. Boy -- innocence. Impossibility of this event (we like to believe in miraculous). Misharin claims that this has happened to him in his childhood. Ah, the landscape behind. The fear in the boy's eyes that bird would fly away.... (Episode from "Mirror")NOSTALGHIA.COM (a must see ) ***
Alright, now you understand that you can't shoot the shot without asking all those questions.
1983. "22 November, San Gregorio
In the past whenever I watched American films set in villages or small provincial towns I was always getting the impression houses and street decorations were badly made. But when I saw those places with my own eyes I concluded it was just the opposite. Entire America is a kind of Disneyland (decorations). Houses are made from slats, planed boards, and plywood. A feeling of the lack of stability and solidity hangs above it all.
Krzysztof Zanussi, with whom we were travelling, was explaining this by the American dynamism, unwillingness to grow into any one place, readiness to run across the country whenever a better job beckons.
Hamlet — or a portion of it at least — should be filmed in Monument Valley. It's astonishing that in places like this, where one ought to talk to God, Americans make westerns like John Ford used to do. Quakers. A village. Superquakers. Girls in long skirts. Vast spaces, roads on which it's impossible to get run over by a passing car. Emptiness. Tiny towns and a wonderful prairie. Poor Americans — with no soul, no roots, living in a land of spiritual riches, a land they don't know and don't appreciate. New York is terrible.
[ Tarkovsky's Diaries ]
@1999-2004 * Anti-Eisenstein: Tarkovsky and "Russian Arch" (Sokurov). One-shot-movie. Montage-within-the shot. Bergson on "Duration." Tarkovsky and paintings. [ shots, list of paintings, vsual composition in icons. ] The idea of the Icon. (How the icon uses the "cut" -- and reversed perspective.) Also, Tarkovsky and Orthodoxy. Connection with Plato. * Robert Bird Gazing into Time: Tarkovsky and Post-Modern Cinema Aesthetics [nostalghia.com]
Notes While Reading_World and Films of Andrey Tarkovsky_ (Moscow, Iscusstvo Pub. 1991) (in Russian)
Film is fast as light, as thought. Tarkovsky follows Nietzsche's advise for philosopher on slow reading. He arrest the diabolical speed and here come the poetry. What does poet do with the language? He breaks "natural" linguistic links and instantaneous understanding. In movies we are used to totalitarian rule of action, film is the changes (motion pictures). What if we would take on nature of media?
[Bergson on "duration" and time.]
Did your great grandfather tell you that time is everything? Did Einstein read Marx to find who rules Time? Speed, he said. "And who does rule over speed?" Andrey asked.
You do, the one who sees.
Who said that film is not hard science?
"The greatest achievement of human genius is that man can understand things, which he can't imagine," said Soviet physicist Lev Landau. You see on the screen the process of mind at work, something impossible! It's a drama of conscience live! Of course, my friends, film is about invisible, what else? That how it became art.
"Poetic Cinema"? Tarkovsky said -- no! Facts (events) create time. Symbolism? No! Image = fact. Documents! The foundation of seeing! (Chronos, chronicle, time) "Recorded reality is the matrix of time (because temporanious becomes an eternity)" ("Recorded Time" Tarkovsky's article).
So, could we see Time Itself? Can we film it?
Time has its own space...
What is that if not imagination?
How does camera play its role? Method acting -- motivations. Logic of emotions. The most stable and continuous in me -- feelings. A lot of poetry in "Mirror": poetry starts with the sight, words later. Can I go straight to the source of poetry? Let me show how poet sees the world.
Water and Tarkovsky. It's action. Portrait (CU) is action. Landscape is action. Thought is action. Cut is action. Camera's angle is a thought... Return to the four basic elements of nature. Close-Up! So close... because we are far, there is a wall between us -- time. Make time into a window, bridge, connection between my soul and the world. Selection (editing) of reality...
How do we make new words?
Haiku: shots. Words-images. Images as words. How does a shot become an image? Reconstruction: poetry is about making images with words.
(see page: Tarkovsky II: Mirror)
How to connect Bergman (Luther) and Tarkovsky? (Russian Orthodox deity, old and Reformation God). North (Kierkegaard). Existential is the Essential. "Show it to me" -- the basis of everything: Existence. Film does it! (See Eisenstein on "primitive thinking" in Intellectual Cinema, Immoral Memories, An Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, 1983)
Yes, what is a strange new method of discourse -- film! Visual thinking. Silent talking. Very active! (See my chapter "Gaze" in POV)
1986. "25 September
[...] Why does Hamlet seek revenge? Revenge is a way of expressing family blood ties, a sacrifice made for those near and dear, a sacred obligation. Hamlet, as we know, avenged to join "the broken link of times," or rather to realise the idea of self-sacrifice. Persistence or obstinacy is frequently apparent in actions which only hurt the person who undertakes them — this is a perverted form of sacrifice. Self-negation, obligation.
Odd, absurd moments of necessity, of propriety of sacrifice which the materialist Freud would call "masochism." A religious person — "obligation." Dostoievsky called it "desire to suffer." Without a religious system such desire to suffer may turn into psychosis. Ultimately, it is love that hasn't found form. But this is spiritual love, not a Freudian one. Love is always a gift made of oneself to others. And although generosity, readiness to make a sacrifice, carries within itself as it were a negative, ostensibly destructive meaning (naturally, in its vulgar understanding) in relation to the individual who makes the sacrifice of himself, the essence of this act is always love, and therefore a positive, creative, divine act. [...]
[ T Diaries ]My function is to make whoever sees my films aware of his need to love and to give his love, and aware that beauty is summoning him. — Tarkovsky + [ quote in Russian ]1983. "28 February, Rome
I'm copying the diary entry dated 7 September, 1970.
Films I would still like to make.
1. Kagol (about Martin Bormann's trial).
2. Two Saw the Fox.
From the thirteen titles only one has been made: The Mirror (A White Day). The ten remaining ones dropped out as a matter of course." ...
There are two new pages on Soviet/Russian Cinema: Russian Films in Film Directory (Post-Perestroyka era).I made a few pages which I call Film-Memories, about my past Russian film life. They are not linked yet.The Film Image: Tarkovsky begins the chapter by acknowledging that a concept like "artistic image" could never be "expressed in a precise thesis, easily formulated and understandable" (104). And that is precisely the point. For him, the potential of cinema lies in the unique ability of the film image to communicate Truth more effectively (or affectively) than language. The image is able to reveal the totality of the universe and allows the viewer to experience simultaneously complex and contradictory feelings. Time, Rhythm and Editing: "Sculpting in time" is Tarkovsky's metaphor for the construction of a film's rhythm. Notice that the emphasis is put on time and rhythm, rather than on editing, which Tarkovsky considers little more than an assembly process. This distinction clearly separates him from his Soviet predecessors like Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Kuleshov, whose experiments in montage Tarkovsky refers to as "puzzles and riddles," intellectual exercises that require too little of the audience.
Instead, he writes, "rhythm . . . is the main formative element of cinema" (119). He uses a short film by Pascal Aubier to illustrate his point. The ten-minute film contains only one shot: the camera begins on a wide landscape, then zooms in slowly to reveal a man on a hill. As the camera gets closer, we learn first that the man is dead, then that he has been killed. "The film has no editing, no acting and no decor," Tarkovsky writes. "But the rhythm of the movement of time is there within the frame, as the sole organising force of the — quite complex — dramatic development" (114). Like the Aubier example, Tarkovsky's films are marked by long takes (most notably in the bookends of The Sacrifice) and slow, beautifully choreographed camera movements. *
Images: Expressionistic camera angles, most notably in Ivan's more terrifying dream sequences. Striking but occasionally heavy-handed symbolism, such as that beautiful cross amid the bombed-out landscape. Most memorable images are those that display Tarkovsky's emerging aesthetic: the slow tracking shots through the birch forest, the close-ups of Ivan, the use of found footage, the final fantasy sequence. [Ivan's Childhood (1962)]
...Áåññìåðòíû âñå. Áåññìåðòíî âñå. Íå íàäî Áîÿòüñÿ ñìåðòè íè â ñåìíàäöàòü ëåò, Íè â ñåìüäåñÿò. Åñòü òîëüêî ÿâü è ñâåò, Íè òüìû, íè ñìåðòè íåò íà ýòîì ñâåòå. Ìû âñå óæå íà áåðåãó ìîðñêîì, È ÿ èç òåõ, êòî âûáèðàåò ñåòè, Êîãäà èäåò áåññìåðòüå êîñÿêîì. Arsenii Tarkovsky
Dear Anatoly Antohin,
I am writing to inform you that this December, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will be presenting a film festival honoring tow Soviet Masters: Andrei Tarkovsky and Aleksandr Dovzhenko.
I noticed your site and thought information on this event might be of interest to the people visiting your site; I can't get access to the discussion board so I decided I would email you directly.
We would be very honored if you could host this event on your page at http://members.tripod.com/~afronord/tarkov.html.
Below is a short description:
December 5-19, 2002
Films at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Six films from My Name is Andrei Tarkovsky. Program includes Solaris and Stalker. This series is being held in parallel with Ukrainian Dreams: Aleksandr Dovzenkho.
BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY. For more info visit http://www.bam.org/info/cinema.asp#MyNameIAn
General Admission: $9 - Students with ID (Mon-Thu, except Holidays),
Please do not hesitate to contact me may you need further information on this event. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you for your future cooperation.
Loreene Ganet Marketing Intern Brooklyn Academy of Music 718-636-4123 x6
I am radically opposed to the way [Sergei] Eisenstein used the frame to codify intellectual formulae. My own method of conveying experience to the audience is quite different... Eisenstein makes thought into a despot: it leaves no "air," nothing of that unspoken elusiveness which is perhaps the most captivating quality of all art... —Andrei Tarkovsky * http://www.ce-review.org/00/39/kinoeye39_halligan.html
"Finally, I would enjoin the reader — confiding in him utterly — to believe that the one thing that mankind has ever created in a spirit of self-surrender is the artistic image. Perhaps the meaning of all human activity lies in artistic consciousness, in the pointless and selfless creative act? Perhaps our capacity to create is evidence that we ourselves were created in the image and likeness of God?" — Tarkovsky [ Sculpting in Time ]
"20 November, Sunday, San Gregorio
They are looking for Ophelia who drowned. They are draining the ponds. People in water, it runs out gradually revealing the bottom of the pond and the crimes of Elsinore. They find Ophelia, her eyes are open.
A slippery, damp layer at the bottom. Ophelia's dress is white, with lace. Cloth through which all the water in the pond has passed. A fish flutters in the lace mesh — of life!?
Two fragments; no — three (!):
1. draining the water,
2. the drowned woman,
3. proofs of guilt at the bottom of the pond..
Yorick's skull is not found by the gravediggers but at the bottom of the pond. Yorick was murdered.
Must urgently find the translation of Hamlet by Morozov. [...] Andrei Tarkovsky's Martyrolog"
Scenario and Shooting Script : For Tarkovsky, the greatest challenge associated with developing a script is maintaining the integrity of the film's inspiration — "it almost seems as if circumstances have been deliberately calculated to make [the director] forget why it was that he started working on the picture" (125). For this reason, he argues that the director must also be the writer, or he must develop a partnership that is founded on complete trust. The majority of this section is devoted to The Mirror — Tarkovsky uses it as a case study of his method... http://www.talkingpix.co.uk/Article_Tarkovsky.html
Tarkovsky PAGES -- filmplus.org/tarkovsky [ 4 Masters ] movies.vtheatre.net/tarkovsky [Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa]
film.vtheatre.net/tarkovsky [Russian Cinema Pages]
film.vtheatre.net/tarkovsky.ru and other T-pages?
... video with flickr.com ?
[ and other (new) TARKOVSKY pages -- 2009 for cine101 ]