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 Post subject: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:16 pm 
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Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986)

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I see it as my duty to stimulate reflection on what
is essentially human and eternal in each individual
soul, and which all too often a person will pass by,
even though his fate lies in his hands. He is too
busy chasing after phantoms and bowing down to
idols. In the end everything can be reduced to the
one simple element which is all a person can count
upon in his existence: the capacity to love. That
element can grow within the soul to become the
supreme factor which determines the meaning of a
person’s life. 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.



Filmography

Ubiytsy / The Killers (short, 1958) Criterion (R1) – as extra on The Killers (Siodmak/Siegel)

Segodnya uvolneniya ne budet / There Will Be No Leave Today (short, 1959)

Katok I skripka / The Steamroller and the Violin (short, 1960) Facets (R1)

Ivanovo detstvo / My Name Is Ivan (1962) Criterion (R1) / Ruscico (R2 RU) / mk2 (R2 FR) / Artificial Eye (R2 UK) / Close-Up (R2 RU) / Spectrum (R3 KR) – included in Andrei Tarkovsky Box Set

Andrey Rublyov / Andrei Rublev (1966) Criterion (R1) / Ruscico (R2 RU) / Artificial Eye (R2 UK) / mk2 (R2 FR) / Close-Up (R2 RU) / Spectrum (R3 KR) – also included in Andrei Tarkovsky Box Set

Solyaris / Solaris (1972) Criterion (R1) / Ruscico (R2 RU) / Artificial Eye (R2 UK) / mk2 (R2 FR) / Close-Up (R2 RU) / Spectrum (R3 KR) – also included in Andrei Tarkovsky Box Set

Zerkalo / The Mirror (1975) Kino (R1) / Artificial Eye (R2 UK) / mk2 (R2 FR) / Spectrum (R3 KR) – included in Andrei Tarkovsky Box Set

Stalker (1979) Kino (R1) / Ruscico (R2 RU) / Artificial Eye (R2 FR) / Films sans frontiers (R2 FR) / Close-Up (R2 RU) / Spectrum (R3 KR) – also included in Andrei Tarkovsky Box Set

Nostalghia (1983) Fox Lorber (R1 – OOP) / Ruscico (R2 RU) / Artificial Eye (R2 FR)

Offret / The Sacrifice (1986) Kino (R1) / SFI (R2 SE) / Artificial Eye (R2 UK) / Arté Video (R2 FR)


Films on/about Tarkovsky on DVD

Moscow Elegy by Alekxander Sokurov (1987) Facets (R1) / Artificial Eye (R2 UK) – as part of the Andrei Tarkovsky Companion

One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenovitch by Chris Marker (1999) Artificial Eye (R2 UK) – as part of the Andrei Tarkovsky Companion

Voyage in Time by Tonino Guerra (1983) Facets (R1) / Artificial Eye (R2 UK) – as part of the Andrei Tarkovsky Companion


Forum Discussions

There are discussions of Tarkovsky’s films in many threads in the forum. Below is a short list of links to those threads that are most specifically concerned with the films of Tarkovsky.

Andrei Tarkovsky

34 Andrei Rublyov

397 Ivan’s Childhood

164 Solaris

Stalker (Tarkovsky, 1979)

R2 Nostalgia from AE worth buying?


Web Resources

Given Tarkovsky’s stature in film history, numerous people have expressed themselves about his work on the internet. Below are a select few sites that offer useful information on the director. Several of the sites have extensive collections of links to further resources.

andreitarkovsky.org – Web page dedicated to Tarkovsky collecting many insightful interviews and articles on Tarkovsky

Creative Review – “Andrei Tarkovsky: Film and Painting” by Mikhail Romadin (March, 2008)

nostalghia.com – Extensive “unofficial” Tarkovsky homepage

Senses of Cinema – Profile of Tarkovsky by Maximilian Le Cain

Strictly Film School – brief discussions of all of Tarkovsky’s feature films by Acquarello (1998-2001)

tarkovsky.ws media arachive – An online media archive offereing access to Tarkovsky’s early short films, documentaries on Tarkovsky, soundtracks to his films, and various texts.


Books

The Cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky by Mark Le Fanu (BFI Publishing, 1987)

Collected Screenplays by Andrei Tarkovsky (translated by William Powell and Natasha Synessios, Faber and Faber, 1999)

Sculpting in Time by Andrei Tarkovsky (translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair, Bodley Head Ltd., 1986)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:27 pm 
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blindside8zao wrote:
Can anyone vouch for any Tarkovsky books besides Sculpting in Time? I'm doing a paper on the adaptation of Solaris.

Also, I'm wondering what else is most important to view. I look to eventually owning all his works but have limited funds at the time.

I have seen Solaris, Andrei Rublev, The Mirror, and Stalker.

The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue by Vida T Johnson and Graham Petrie. A chapter for each film and much more, quite interesting IMO


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:47 pm 

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There are a few pages of interview at the back of Tarkovsky's Time within Time: Diaries: 1970-1986 in which AT talks about Solaris and his relation with Lem. The second half of the interview - re Cannes 1972 - is typical AT invective: Fellini's Roma "offended", Polanski's Macbeth is "very shallow, very superficial", etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:51 pm 
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The Visual Fugue chapter is pretty comprehensive. Also of worth is Kurosawa's essay, which is printed in the booklet of Criterion's Solaris release and also available here:

Tarkovsky and Solaris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:34 pm 
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There's a really fascinating book of recollections by Tarkovsky's friends and colleagues, but I think it's only been published in Russia. I'll try to dig it out and give details, but if anybody knows of a more accessible edition, let us know.

I actually found this volume possibly more informative about his actual working methods than either Sculpting or the diaries. Time within Time offers an invaluable insight into Tarkovsky's personality, but you may need to prime yourself for disillusionment in some areas.

I've never been entirely satisfied with the various critical volumes devoted to Tarkovsky - they always seem to miss at least a couple of crucial dimensions, and there's a strong tendency to reduce him to his characteristic motifs and stylistic tics.

I have a sense that individual responses to the films differ wildly, so the less mediated an initial encounter with one of the works the better, in my opinion. (For instance, I find it hard to reconcile Margarita Terekhova's extraordinarily sensitive work in Mirror with the sexism exposed in the diaries, and I wonder how my reaction to the film would have been compromised if I'd read the latter first).

As for the films, you really need to see all of them (and I think some are much better than others). Because of the circumstances of his career, specifically the production obstacles put in his way and the downtime he had to fill, his style evolves quite markedly between films. He's one director for whom it's easy to trace a stylistic trajectory from feature to feature, even though almost all of them consist of specifically, idiosyncratically "Tarkovskian" elements.

However, as the films are so strongly visual, you really need to see all of them in good prints on the big screen. Home video is a substantial compromise to the experience of these films, and many of the available DVD editions of the films further compromise that experience to what seems an unacceptable degree. So it might pay to delay your first experience of the remaining films until the advent of a definitive DVD edition (or, better yet, a theatrical opportunity).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:52 pm 
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well shit. I don't want to wait...

other than the sexism, what other areas do you suppose I will be disillusioned about?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:34 pm 
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I strongly agree with zedz's (zedz'?) points. It's best to experience Tarkovsky's films before seeking out discussion about them. They can be difficult and may require multiple viewings, but it's better to go through this "struggle" on one's own before reading critical reactions to the films. Tarkovsky was a very emotional guy and reducing his films to intellectual analysis, while useful and important, probably doesn't enhance an initial viewing.

There are plenty of areas where you may be disillusioned, though a lot depends on your attitudes about some of the philosophical perspectives Tarkovsky takes on things. This is especially the case with his religious perspective. But in general, the strong emotional content of his films can result in a personal reaction by the viewer that doesn't necessarily line up with Tarkovsky's intentions or philosophies, and finding that out can itself be somewhat disappointing.

I will say that of all of the directors I admire, Tarkovsky is the one I'd least like to hang out with. I think he'd be insufferable. That's a disappointing thing to figure out.

The DVDs for his films aren't entirely unwatchable. Some of them are pretty bad (Sacrifice, Stalker and Mirror) but they aren't so bad that you can't enjoy them. Don't let the quality of the discs discourage you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:44 pm 
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I'm not intending on reading before viewing. If you look at the post above you will see that I'm writing on Solaris, which I've viewed. I am very passionate about what I have seen of his, though, and intend to see the rest. I know I'll return to chapters on his other films, after viewing. I despise any sort of discussion of a film previous to viewing it.

BTW, was browsing amazon.com when I came across this, does anyone have a copy they could share?

Tarkovsky views Brakhage films.

Brakhage Meets Tarkovsky: An article from: Chicago Review


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:21 pm 
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Well to answer your question at top (which I wasn't responding to), you should see all of his films, since they're all available. Also valuable to ask what Tarkovsky didn't like about 2001 and how he "responded" in Solaris.

For understanding Tarkovsky, a full understanding of Mirror is probably the single most important thing. I think the content and meaning of Mirror informs all of his films, even those that come before.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:44 pm 
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blindside8zao wrote:
BTW, was browsing amazon.com when I came across this, does anyone have a copy they could share?

Tarkovsky views Brakhage films.

Brakhage Meets Tarkovsky: An article from: Chicago Review

Amazon doesn't need your money: get it for free here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:08 am 
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Holy moly I just saw Nostalghia. I love it. Maybe my favorite so far. The scene where he lays down in bed and dreams is amazingly filmed.

I did think maybe there was a bit too much camera movement in the first half though? Not enough setting still, maybe. When the camera moved in the beginning it was faster than usual too.

Lighting, very very cool.

Theme, very very wonderful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:30 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:17 am
Quote:
Andrei Tarkovsky's Offret (Sacrifice) coming out 2-DVD edition by Arte (R2) on Nov. 23rd, features Chris Marker's "One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevitch" & "Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky" by Michal Lesczylowski has no English subtitles.

how about that for shitty news........for those of us who don't speak french

source: the Beaver


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:50 pm 
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why is it america can not get decent tarkovsky? I've emailed mulvaney a lot, I pester him all the time about it. But still, no plans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:30 pm 
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Because Kino Video and Fox Lorber did their normal bad job. And because so far Criterion has not been able (or willing enough?) to secure the rights to Nostalghia or Ivan's Childhood, or even to reissue Andrei Rublev with anamorphic and un-cropped transfers of both the Scorsese version and the 185 minute cut that Tarkovsky preferred.
Of course, many of the R2 releases are riddled with problems, too, so it's not just North America that can't get many definitive Tarkovsky releases. However, it may be worth your while to get a region-free player just so you can watch the R2 Ivan's Childhood as well as Mirror and Stalker which are better than the R1 counterparts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Criterion does have the rights to Ivan's Childhood but they claim to be unable to get quality elements. This has long been a point of lamentation on this board.

Unfortunately, other than Criterion there's no company in R1 that will put the work into a definitive release of Tarkovsky's films. Kino did a nice job with La Dolce Vita, but since that film can sell at Best Buy it was a good gamble for them. Unfortunately, Mirror lacks name recognition. If any new version comes along before the next gen format, it will probably be another bad PAL-to-NTSC conversion. Awfully sad.

At least we have Solaris, and the Criterion Rublev could be a lot worse (though I agree, an anamorphic transfer would make it a lot better). Criterion's willingness to release new versions of films, though, should give us hope.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:30 pm 
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Quote:
Criterion does have the rights to Ivan's Childhood but they claim to be unable to get quality elements. This has long been a point of lamentation on this board.

I know that was the consensus, but I don't think we can be completely sure they haven't lost the rights again by now. The claim that they can't get good elements is odd from the looks of the outstanding MK2 edition released this year.

Quote:
Kino did a nice job with La Dolce Vita, but since that film can sell at Best Buy it was a good gamble for them. Unfortunately, Mirror lacks name recognition.

Koch Lorber released La Dolce Vita, not Kino.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:09 pm 
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Yesh you're right. I get them confused . . . but the point remains.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:51 pm 
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I hope we finally see more Tarkovsky this year. At least we can get the oop Nostalghia from previous Fox Lorber. Perhaps they are waiting for a Tarkovsky boxset (Nostalghia, Ivan's Childhood, The Sacrifice, & The Mirror, even Stalker). Wishful thinking. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:57 pm 
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Isn't a CC of Nostalghia pretty much a given?
Getting good elements for Sacrifice, Stalker and Mirror shouldn't be a problem, no? With these films I imagine there are rights issues.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:15 pm 
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Stalker is a Ruscico property. When I first discovered CC, but before I found this forum, I sent an email to JM about it - his reply indicated that they did not hold the rights. I'm not holding my breath for a CC Stalker. Or, for that matter, Mirror or The Sacrifice. Still, I'd buy them instantly . . .


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:49 pm 
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if that box set existed, I would buy like 5 of them on the release date...

By the way, what do you mean next generation format?

Sad to hear about all this. It seems such an injustice. I know they wouldn't sell worth crap, but I wish Criterion would do releases of some crap popular movies like "meet the fuckers" criterion version, to make money to put out these films. Every Tark I've seen is astonishing and I'm eager to see Steamroller, Sacrifice, and Ivan's Childhood.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:08 am 
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blindside8zao wrote:
By the way, what do you mean next generation format?

BluRay or whatever will replace DVD in, say, 2015. Hopefully won't be that long, but . . .

Quote:
I wish Criterion would do releases of some crap popular movies like "meet the fuckers" criterion version, to make money to put out these films.

I'm sure they've tried, but I'm guessing Ruscico won't let go of the rights they've got as a matter of policy - after all, Tarkovsky is in elite company as far as Russian filmmakers goes, and that's Ruscico's business. Would be nice to see these, and, oh, Come and See, fall into CC's hands. *sigh*

I think Steamroller is available, although the disc is expensive. It's the one film of his I've not seen. I bought a region-free player just to watch the UK Ivan (well, that and the Apu Trilogy) . . .


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:11 am 
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yeah, I'm renting it through Blockbuster.com rental thing. I wouldn't suggest it btw, i think it's more expensive than Netflicks, my parents are doing it, so I'm stealing it for a week to get Sacrifice and Steamroller.

I may have to buy one also to get copies of Tarkovsky films to own. It will open things up anyways. I am also kind of excited to see Kurenenko (sp) after seeing Onibaba. I want to see some more mizoguchi besides ugetsu too, and isn't that mainly non-american?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:26 am 

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Geez, does anyone have any hopeful news about re-releases of Tarkovsky movies? Especially considering that the crap STALKER DVD sells for about $40 a pop, and Nostalghia is probably OOP, will be see anything in '06 to make me happy? I'd be willing to pay $40 or $50, but not for subpar garbage. This man was one of the master's of world cinema, it's sad to see his greatest works attached to such crappy DVD productions.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:58 am 
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agreed, part of the reason I started this thread. I am fairly new to world cinema and Tarkovsky is the most intrigueing director I have seen so far. As stated earlier, it's a crying shame. In the meantime, I will content myself with subpar versions of films and when that's done I'm going to start reading Sculpting in Time.


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