Saturday, July 9, 2011
Just a few first thoughts...
Film as art. Three simple words. And yet this idea, in the hands of film director Andrei Tarkovsky, has resulted in some of the most complex and visually stunning films I have ever seen. Stalker (1979) and Mirror (1975) are my personal favorites. These films can be difficult for first time viewers. They were (and still are) for me. But I love them. I watch them all the time. One of the biggest hurdles is that they are in the Russian language. There are many different prints of all his films with various subtitle translations; some good, some bad. Something is always lost in translation. Tarkovsky himself did not believe in translations, especially of Russian poetry, which he uses a lot in his films. Most of it is by his father, Arseny Tarkovsky. To understand his films, Mirror for example, Tarkovsky felt that you needed Russian roots, to have experienced the Russian way of life and its history. And he was right. The first time I saw Mirror I had no clue what was going on. This movie parallels the narrator's childhood interwoven with his present life as well as the historical events relative to specific scenes. All this prompted me to learn everything I could about Andrei Tarkovsky and Russian history. This has been very rewarding to me, and I hope to encourage other people to see his films. Give them a try. You will be glad you did!
Posted by Dan Marquart at 3:04 PM