* 2007-2009
2008 --
Total Directing
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III. T-related :

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FILM analysis :






analysis : craft * art * philosophy
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1. The film begins in color with a straight cut into a shot of a young boy positioned in front of the screen of a television set, as we hear: “What is your name? My name is Yuri Zhary.” (20")

2. A straight cut to a long shot of a woman psychologist who is using hypnosis on a eenage boy to cure him of a severe stuttering problem. (3'38")

3. A straight cut to a black screen with white lettering giving the film’s title - ‘The Looking Glass’ (5"). A straight cut to the other film credits


A straight cut back to the film’s title - ‘The Looking Glass’ (6")


1. A straight cut of a woman in long shot, sitting side saddle on an old wooden fence, smoking a cigarette and facing opposite camera toward a huge buckwheat field in the background. She is wearing a white dress with a dark sweater. Her hair is blond like yellow straw. The color texture of the landscape is bluish green. The camera slowly tracks forward toward her to a point where it almost stops, framing the woman in a medium shot filling one third of the frame, in conjunction with the sound of a train whistle and the start of the voice-over (the narrator is Alexei). The camera’s determined forward movement passes to the right of the woman, leaving her image to disappear off-screen left, and moves to the edge of the field on an extreme long shot of the very small image of a man, standing in the middle of the field and within the near-center of the screen. (45")

2. A straight cut to the woman in right profile and close-up (shoulder shot), still smoking passively. She turns her head toward the camera and directly stares into the lens for about two seconds. The color of her face glows with a golden yellow light. The camera pans slowly to the right, rack focuses to some bushes where green leaves and branches rustle in the wind. (18")

3. A straight cut follows again to the woman in long shot, sitting on the fence but viewed from a slightly different perspective. The camera seems to pan-and-track in a slight circle path about her in a movement to the right. (16")

4. A straight cut back to the man in long shot is made as he makes his way to the edge of the field. The camera leaves him and begins to pan left with a slight tilt down toward the woman on the fence. It continues its movement with a track that circles around her, to a position behind her back, where it turns to view the woman against the background of the buckwheat field as she blows smoke in the wind (similar camera POV as in shot 1). The landscape is bluish green but the characters’ faces are luminescent with red, orange and yellow colors. The man arrives in front of the woman whose back is facing the camera and after a slight pause, she turns around to look back as though she is going to stare into the lens again (as in shot 2), but her gaze penetrates beyond the camera. (1'33")

5. A straight cut to two young boys in long shot, laying stretched out in a hammock and facing each other. This stringed up hanging bed looks like a huge spider web spread out between two trees. The children appear to be sleeping. (3")

6. A straight cut is made back to the man and woman in long shot but from a different perspective. The man is at an arm’s length near her as she sits on the edge of the wooden rail of the fence which is seen in oblique relative to the bottom of the screen, while a row of bushes is seen in the middle ground with the buckwheat filled in the background. The man is also smoking a cigarette. He sits down next to her, his weight causing the wood to snap and they both fall to the ground. The camera tilts down and dollies toward the man, then follows him as he gets up. The camera now captures them in a two-shot, as they brush themselves off. The camera pans right with the man as he continues to talk, then back to the left as he walks back past the camera and exits frame left. The camera now frames the woman in a medium shot looking in a direction over the top of the camera toward the man’s off-screen voice. (2'00")

7. A straight cut to the man in very long shot at the edge of the field (similar to shot 4). He begins to move away as we hear the sound of a dog barking in the distance. A silent sound segment follows for a few seconds; and then a huge wave of air (a strong feeling of the force of the wind exists here) moves across the field, from the right background and up to the foreground at the edge of the screen. We can see the pressure of the air against his body. The man stands still for a moment after the wind dies down. A golden streak of color stripes the middle portion of the bluish green field. (36")

8. A straight cut to the woman in medium close-up looking obliquely left and slightly down. She is viewed in front of a mid-ground row of trees that hide a clearing, probably another portion of the field, that separates the forest background in the distance. A similar wave of air that comes and goes, but reduced in intensity, produces a gust of wind that strikes her body with a kinesthetic pressure, as she turns and moves screen right. (7")

9. A straight cut back to the man in very long shot in the field is made as he walks away. Another strong gust of wind passes through the field, causing the man to stop momentarily and turn to look back at the woman. The man hesitates in an estranged, bizarre manner as he begins to lift his hand as though he is going to wave goodbye or do something else to call attention, but never completes his intention and turns back around and walks away. (18")

10. A straight cut back to the woman in medium close-up (similar to shot 8) looking obliquely left. There is no wind this time as the voice-over begins to recite a poem from the poetry of Arseni Tarkovsky. The camera pans with the movement of the woman who is heading screen right and begins to track her from behind as she moves up to the dacha. She reaches a point near a tree when an object falls off outside the edge of one of the dacha’s windowsills, causing her to turn suddenly toward the camera as though she is again going to stare into the lens. (27")

11. A straight cut to a little boy (maybe Alexei) standing in medium shot. A fire in an outside stove with its door opened is seen behind the boy, a pot appears to be on top boiling a liquid into the air. The boy looks slightly down at the camera and then turns his head to look screen left. He turns it back to a point where he is looking right and down as he still holds the same footing position; and then he begins to walk screen right. He passes by a youngster (boy or girl) with a shaven head who is laying flat on the ground and on his or her belly, sticking three quarter the way out of a dog house, where a little puppy is seen playing near the child’s head at the bottom edge of the screen. An apparently different woman dressed in a long dark skirt and dark sweater moves into frame from screen left, grabs a jacket on top of the dog house, and picks up the child as they move off screen right. (15”)


12. A straight cut to a pair of hands in medium close-up, holding a spoon and stirring up something in a bowl is seen as some spilled milk puddles to the left side of the screen on top of the table where a cat is lapping the white liquid. After a moment, we see that there are two little children both with heads shaven, one who is spooning a substance (probably milk) out of the bowl, the other who is fooling around by pouring either a white powder (probably flour) on top of the cat’s head. The voice-over continues to recite Arseni Tarkovky’s poem. The camera moves to the right and away from the kids to a point halfway across the room where a woman is standing up alone in the corner. There is a slight pause in her position before she begins to move screen right away from the corner screen and disappears out of frame right. The camera lingers for a few seconds on the corner she previously occupied. The camera picks her image again as she heads to a window, near another corner on the opposite side of the room, where she sits down to stare out of its opening. The camera seems to pause for a moment on the woman whose hair is blonde, as it continues a tracking movement past the woman, swinging rightward in the process, to capture a full frame view of the outside backyard of the dacha where it is raining. We cannot hear the rain but only see it as the poem is being recited. The camera pauses for a moment on a table that is located in the left foreground of the screen, supporting unknown objects on its wet surface. A grassy open lawn area lies in the middle ground where a few scattered trees grow, partially veiling a greater forested spread in the background. The camera tilts upward revealing a semi-circular string of bushes that complete the view of the mid-ground, as we see further behind a clearing which again separates a forest background. The rain continues to fall. (1'28")

13. A straight cut to the woman with blonde hair in medium close-up follows. She is looking obliquely right near the front of the camera. Initially, the poem continues to be spoken until there is a sound of rattling, at which time the poetry stops. The camera stares at the woman who stays immobile for a time; and then she looks right when the sound of rattling is heard. The faint cries of kittens are heard intermixed with the rattling sound. She decides to move screen right to a desk near a window where she picks up a book that she opens momentarily. As the camera pauses on the woman who remains in the shadows near the desk, she suddenly hears a ruckus; and then turns toward the camera as we hear the barking of a dog. She walks screen left past the two young children, a boy and a girl, who were at the table at the center of the room, passing another window in the background of the dacha that strongly lights up the inside of the room. As the camera tracks-and-pans her going toward the door entrance, we see in the right top corner of the screen a clock, located above a bright lit area of the wall that reveals the log-cabin structure of the dacha. She comes back to speak to the children who are seated at a table: “It’s a fire, but don’t shout.” As the children get up there is a cut on action to a reverse angle of the table. (44").

14. The children leave the table and run toward the camera located between them and the door. The camera pans quickly left as they move out-and-away from this picnic style bench (table). As they pass behind the camera, it pulls back slightly and pans slowly right to stare at the table. As it pauses on the vacated room, we see an empty bottle (milk bottle) roll-off its surface and hit the floor, rolling away and making a hollow crystal sound. Now, the camera pans quickly leftward to reveal a bright, blurred image with a myriad of red, orange, and yellow hues and the image of a doorway with penetrating blue color streaming in from its edges. It is the door entrance of the dacha reflected in an old mirror. The out-of-focused image of a little boy in dark shorts is seen standing facing out near its right edge. There is something brilliantly orange and yellow in the upper left corner region of the door (sun or fire). Suddenly, there is a re-focusing which seems to efface the warn-out dark spots of the mirror, revealing another little child with lighter shorts who is standing to the left of the taller child (previously described).


The camera pauses on them for a moment, causing us to wonder if it is still a virtual mirror image or a real focused shot of the backs of the children looking out of the doorway. It begins to move again as a ceiling oil lamp appears in our view. The camera is panning left as we hear someone shouting. Strangely, as it pans another child, a slightly older boy with dark hair and wearing a fur collar overcoat, it moves out of the shadows and screen left. The camera picks up behind him, whose face glows with a golden orange light, as they move toward the open door of the dacha that presents us with a blurred out background amidst a gentle falling rain. The camera moves through the right side of the door and past this boy, revealing in a track-and-pan motion a woman dressed with a dark heavy sweater and wearing a deep dark red dress, standing in a full shot in the front yard and looking at a burning barn. The camera continues to move left and track right as it passes to the right of a ladder positioned screen left, as we hear the sound of dripping water and see a gentle rain. The woman is now framed in the center foreground while a man stands left frame in the middle ground, as a girl dressed with a white fur collar overcoat moves into frame from the bottom edge of the screen. There is a huge blinding blaze on the left side of the screen. (59")

15. A straight cut to the woman in medium shot and right profile, staring at the brilliant fire. Thick woods are seen in the background. She moves screen right to a well and sits on its edge, as she holds her arms crossed around her upper body as though she is hugging herself. We hear the sounds of the well bucket that is tied to a rope from an unseen support, swinging and squeaking, as it moves through the air in its pendulum motion. The man passes the woman on her right as he heads toward the fire amidst the cry-like sounds of the squeaking bucket. The camera follows the man’s movement and reveals that the fire is a building blazing out of control. It tilts up slowly as the man picks up his pace toward the burning inferno. We hear the soft roar of the combustion of the crackling wood and see the smoke clouds rising into the air which seems to blend with bluish green of the background forest. Once the man gets very close to the blaze, its heat intensity (time-pressure) is so great that he attempts to circumvent it by moving screen left. (53")


16. A straight cut to shadows that slowly unveil a little boy (Alexia) lying in a bed. The image has switched to black and white. He is sleeping. We hear the fluttering hum of a flute in a form of background music, as the sound of the cry from a night creature (bird or animal) punctures the sonic space. The boy sits up and looks screen right. (21")

17. A straight cut to the exterior of the dacha at night looking into a wooded brush area. The camera pauses for a few seconds as it slightly pulls back and tracks left to a point when a strange wind gusts through the brush. In a bizarre fashion, the weeds bend back only in a narrow path across the middle ground of the screen without disturbing the other outer surrounding foliage. Another cry of the night animal (maybe a night owl or raven) is heard in the midst of rustling noise from the wind and the eerie, celestial sound of synthesized flute (non-diegetic sound) that gives the night space an air of mystery. (17")

18. A straight cut back to the boy sleeping in his bed (similar to shot 15). He softly cries out in his sleep: “Papa.” As he does so, there follows a ‘double cry’ from the unknown night creature that sonically sounds like the phonics of ‘Papa’. The little boy sits up as we see him from a different perspective. A bright area lies behind, a shade partially covering a lit window. He gets out of bed and moves screen right to the entrance of another room (maybe the living room) as we hear the sound of the night creature again and see a mysterious flying object moving rapidly from left-to-right across the screen (possibly a shirt, maybe the night bird?). (39")


19. A straight cut to a left profile medium close-up of the narrator’s father, a young, shirtless man in his early thirties with dark hair, leaning forward to the left, seemingly helping a young woman, the narrator’s mother Maria, with the washing of her hair. There is a fire burning in the background. Everything is happening is a suspended slow motion. Maria appears to have dark hair but it is wet so we don’t know its true color. She is leaning forward, facing straight down into the tub of water, then she begins to pull up letting her wet hair hang down over the expanse of water. She continues to rise with her arms in a partial crucifixion position as the camera pulls back away from her. We hear again the eerie, celestial humming that seems to have grown into stormy orchestration of a ship’s bell ringing, muffled with the sounds of train wheels passing over railroad tracks - like the synthesized sounds of an oncoming storm. (53")

20. A straight cut to an empty room (same as shot 19) and from a very slightly different perspective. The color is more sepia than before (white grayish color) as the whole room is caught in a mysterious rain storm. The ceiling is falling from the dacha’s sky, crashing in pieces onto the floor. Water is pouring out of the hole that we can’t see. A fire is seen in a mirror screen left. The mysterious sounds of a ship’s bell and a flute or blowing air pass the open tip of a bottle are intermixed with the crashing of ceiling chunks that look like pieces of bright, white ice. (13”)


21. A straight cut to Maria (same as in shot 19) in medium shot, holding her hands on top of her wet hair as she is moving screen left. The eerie, celestial, symphonic musical hum bridges the gap between these two shots. It is raining here (as in shot 20 but not shot 19). She looks down and turns, almost looking directly into the camera, then she stops as the camera continues to move leftward, panning her face in a medium close-up. The camera continues its movement past her, coming to a mirror which reflects the woman’s image in virtual left profile (actual right profile). It continues its cinematographic leftward pursuit until the screen is completely black. It pauses for a moment then begins moving screen left, revealing a sparkling light texture of a wall whose surface is sheeted with dripping water. THERE IS A POSSIBLE HIDDEN CUT HERE. The camera arrives at the entrance of a lit doorway, where, against the logics of time and space, the same woman, Maria, is seen; behind her and on the other side of the door we see a bricked surface background. The woman’s wet hair is covered by a shawl or bathrobe over her shoulders. The camera pans left as it brings her image into the middle of the screen in medium close-up. The sound of dripping water hitting a taut, stretched out linen sheet is heard, as is the returning sound of the night creature. The camera moves in on her, still in close-up, panning rightward as she begins to move quickly screen right, causing us to think that the camera has redirected its movement in a leftward pan. (49")


22. A straight cut to an old woman in medium shot (Alexei’s mother) seen as an arch shaped reflected image (produced from a mirror) with clouds, a tree to the left and fire near the bottom of the mirror-picture (it looks like a Renaissance painting). She is nearly bareheaded with very little hair and has a shawl over her shoulders that she holds with her right hand crossed over her chest and touching her heart region. The camera seems to be moving screen left as the old woman appears to be advancing near it and the strange arched shape mirror image vanishes into transparency. Only the sounds of dripping water are heard. The camera frames her in medium close-up as it moves slightly forward closer to her image, then a person (the old woman’s) right hand comes up from the bottom of the screen and rubs the surface of the image of the old woman (her image reflected in a mirror) in a counterclockwise movement. The sound of rubbing wet glass is heard. (22") The shot cuts.



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