Author Topic: Andrei Tarkovsky  (Read 9062 times)

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The Perineum Falcon

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Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2004, 09:48:07 PM »
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I blind bought Solaris thanks to you guys! It was FAAAANTASTIC!
Since then I've wanted to know more about Tarkovsky, see all of his films and read the things he written (speaking of which, how is that book that he wrote, Sculpting in Time?). I know that all of his movies have had an R1 release at some point in time and was wondering if maybe I should buy them if I could get my hands on them or if I should wait for something better to come along (I'm assuming that Sacrifice is one that I should ultimately hold out on)?

Also, Tarkovsky took some 60 odd Polaroids which are FAAAANTASTIC!! I think it just got published in the UK:
http://film.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,8544,1226197,00.html
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

Two Lane Blacktop

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Solaris, Stalker
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2005, 04:01:16 PM »
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I onwed the 2-VHS tape Fox Lorber edition of "Solaris" for many years, and just recently bought the Criterion DVD and watched it-  the improvement of the video quality was AMAZING.   I'd love to see it on a really big screen.

I enjoyed Solaris so much I picked up "Stalker," but haven't had time to watch it yet.  It sounds mesmerising, from all the descriptions I've read.

I wouldn't mind checking out the Soderberg "Solaris" remake, but I'm in no particular hurry about it.  

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krakpot

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Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2005, 03:12:59 PM »
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Stalker is simply amazing. Have you seen Andrei Rublev? That is my favorite Tarkovsky film. But, Solaris is very close. I watched the Tarkovsky's student re-make of The Killers. Ehh... it wasn't so good, but you can see where he develops as a film maker. Also, a funny note is instead of casting a real black man for the cook, Tarkovsky took some white Russian fellow and painted him black. It's fantastic.

Tarkovsky is truely one of the best film makers of all time.

socketlevel

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Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2005, 03:37:37 PM »
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Quote from: krakpot
Also, a funny note is instead of casting a real black man for the cook, Tarkovsky took some white Russian fellow and painted him black. It's fantastic.

Tarkovsky is truely one of the best film makers of all time.


Funny?  Fantastic?

go rent bamboozled.

he is one of the greatest though.  check out Zerkalo (the mirror), it should be available kino styles.

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wilder

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2012, 07:47:11 PM »
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Andrei Tarkovsky archive to go up for auction
via The Guardian

Collection of Russian film-maker's letters, audio tapes and photographs expected to fetch up to £100,000 at Sotheby's

An extensive archive of letters, book drafts, audio tapes and photographs relating to the film director Andrei Tarkovsky is to appear at auction in London.

Sotheby's has announced it is to sell an archive of one of the most revered figures in cinema, a man whom Ingmar Bergman called "the greatest … the one who invented a new language of film."

Tarkovsky's films, always intellectually stimulating and usually long and slow-moving, routinely come top or very high in film lists. The Guardian named his 205-minute Andrei Rublev as the best arthouse film of all time, and the BFI's once-a-decade greatest film poll put three Tarkovsky creations in the top 30 – Mirror at 19, Andrei Rublev at 26 and Stalker at 29. Mirror came ninth in a parallel BFI list decided by 358 directors.

Sotheby's head of books and manuscripts, Stephen Roe, said the archive gave fascinating insights into Tarkovsky's approach to cinema. "It is probably the only papers relating to Tarkovsky that are ever likely to come on the market in the near future," he said.

The archive is being sold by Olga Surkova, who was Tarkovsky's pupil, amanuensis and friend as well as co-author of the book Sculpting in Time, in which the director sets out his theories on cinema.

The archive covers his life as well as his work. One of the most poignant items is a draft of a letter he wrote to President Leonid Brezhnev in which he argues that he be allowed to work in the Soviet Union and calls for his films – banned by the authorities – to be released.

"For three and a half years the film has been kept away from the screen … Andrei Rublev was not and could not have been used for any kind of anti-Soviet propaganda … I do not have any opportunity to exercise my creative ideas," he wrote.

The situation was having a profound effect on Tarkovsky. "If I do not have any work, I cannot make a living, though I have a wife and a child. I do not feel comfortable talking about that, but my situation has been unchanged for so long that I cannot keep silence any longer."

The letter had little effect and in 1984 he vowed to never again return to the Soviet Union. He died of lung cancer in Paris in 1986 at the age of 54.

Also in the sale are notebooks with shot-by-shot analysis of his films; printed scripts for films, containing significant differences to the final versions; and a collection of 32 audio tapes and 13 MiniDiscs from his final years on which he talks about his films and cinema.

here are photo albums of Tarkovsky and his family on holiday in places such as the Grand Canyon in the US, Italy and Stonehenge in the UK, as well as pictures of the director with other Russian luminaries such as the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.

Tarkovsky made seven feature films, including Solaris, Nostalghia, and The Sacrifice. "He is regarded as, after [Sergei] Eisenstein, the most important Russian film director of the 20th century and one of the greatest of all time," Roe said.

Tarkovsky has influenced a legion of film-makers. Explaining why he dedicated his film Antichrist to Tarkovsky, the director Lars von Trier told one interviewer: "Have you ever seen a film called Mirror? I was hypnotised! I've seen it 20 times. It's the closest I've got to a religion – to me he is God."

Steven Soderbergh, who remade Solaris with George Clooney in the lead role, once said: "I'm a big fan of Tarkovsky. I think he's an actual poet, which is very rare in the cinema, and the fact that he had such an impact with only seven features I think is a testament to his genius."

The archive will be sold by Sotheby's on 28 November and has an estimate of £80,000-£100,000. Strong Russian interest is expected. "Russians ought to be interested in it because it is so fundamental to their artistic history," Roe said.

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Here's hoping Taschen gets access to this.

wilder

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2012, 05:20:30 PM »
+2
Andrei Tarkovsky directed Ernest Hemingway's The Killers in the form of a 20 minute short while at the State Institute of Cinematography:




wilder

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2013, 06:57:39 AM »
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Essay from the book Tarkovsky edited by Nathan Dunne, which is out of print but to be republished in a paperback edition in April 2013.



Over a 25 year period, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky made just seven feature films and three student shorts, yet his cinematic work stands out as one of the most significant contributions to moving image history. In films such as Solaris, Mirror and Andrei Rublev, Tarkovsky dealt thematically with the notion of memory, childhood and dreams and became a master of the long, unedited shot and distinct formalistic approach to filmmaking. Many studies of his work have also observed the links between his films and the visual arts. Black Dog Publishing is behind a new, comprehensive volume dedicated to his life's work and we have an exclusive extract to present here on the CR blog. The following essay, by Mikhail Romadin (the art director on Solaris), looks at the relationship between Tarkovsky's films and painting.


Still from Andrei Rublev

Film and Painting by Mikhail Romadin (translated by Maureen Ryley).

Every time Tarkovsky came to visit us I would spread out a heap of books in front of him, monographs on various artists. At that time, after a prolonged nomadic existence in rented rooms we finally moved into our own apartment. We had hardly any furniture. Our books were stacked on the floor or on shelves which I had put together with my own hands from frames for stretching canvas and boards which I found in the courtyard. Our walls were hung with my paintings. We had no money and therefore each monograph was very highly valued. It was pure ecstasy to be able to buy a new volume from the Skira publishers, and if we managed to get hold of a monograph on Salvador Dali or René Magritte, the news made the rounds of all our friends. Each new book was scrupulously examined and then the reproductions were each covered, in turn, with a sheet of paper with a one and one-half centimetre opening cut in the centre. We then tried to guess who the artist was “by his stroke”. Andrei loved to play this game.

At one time he had studied in that art school which in the 1950s was located on Bolshoi Chudov Lane. I later studied there with the same instructors. Tarkovsky considered the painter’s profession to be a happy one since it was the only profession where the artist was one with his work in his studio and wasn’t tied to a film studio, a publishers or a concert hall.

Tarkovsky's interest in painting was quite broad but not without limits. It included Russian icons, Giuseppi Arcimboldo, Georges de Latour and even the Surrealists and Saul Steinberg’s cartoons. Preference was given to the classical traditions over romantic ones. In terms of contemporary art, he liked those artists who, in their works conduct a sort of dialogue with the old masters: Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Henri Moore and Ignazio Jacometti.



Mikhail Romadin’s graphic illustration of the set design in Solaris, featuring the interior of the dacha on Earth


And still, in spite of the fact that Tarkovsky considered painting with great interest and knew it well, he felt its influence only indirectly. He avoided drawing parallels between art forms and attempted to isolate the language of film. He didn’t believe that this language was somehow secondary to that of either literature or painting. He never considered that filmmaking was a synthesis of various art forms. He intensely disliked the term “poetic film” which the critics had attached to his early pictures.

It is here that we find the basic difference and juxtaposition between his film aesthetics and those of Pasolini and Fellini. Pasolini raises the language of film to that of literature, writing, with its syntax, semiotics, etc. Fellini’s method, where each scene is put together in the same way as a painting is on canvas, was even more unacceptable to Tarkovsky. What will you have if, instead of a figure drawn on canvas by the artist we see a live actor? This is a surrogate painting, a “live picture”.

When, together with the cameraman Yusov, Tarkovsky and I had just begun work on Solaris, we had a chance to see Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. We suddenly wanted to do something completely contradictory to it. After all, each scene in Kubrick’s film is an illustration from a science-fiction magazine. That is, that very same graphic art which has been transferred to the screen. And it isn’t even good quality graphic art.

It wasn’t direct connections between painting and film that Tarkovsky found, but ones that were more remote. For Solaris he suggested creating an atmosphere which would be similar to that which we see in the works of the early Italian Renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio. The picture is of the embankment of Venice, sailboats. There are many people in the foreground. But the most important thing is that all these figures seem to be wrapped up in themselves. They don’t look at each other or at the landscape; they in no way interact with their surroundings. A strange, “metaphysical” atmosphere of non-communication is created. In the film, in order to produce the equivalent of this, the device of “being aloof” was used. For example, the scene where the cosmonaut is bidding the Earth farewell. There is a table in the garden at which the cosmonaut (the actor Donatas Banionis) is seated. It’s raining. It pours over the table, the cups filled with tea and down the cosmonaut’s face. The latter should not react to the rain, but should act as if he was in another dimension, in order to create an atmosphere of irreality. But Banionis involuntarily shuddered in the rain. “The scene is destroyed. What a shame,” said Andrei. This is just one small example of the influence of painting on Tarkovsky’s film language. The image, born in painting, had to undergo a powerful metamorphosis before it could become a film image.



Still from Solaris


We were helped in our work on the film, first of all, by those few years of friendship and almost daily contact which preceded our joint efforts. We understood each other without having to spell things out and we didn’t have to waste time on long explanations. I am sorry that our paths later diverged. Secondly, we were united by a dislike for science fiction as a genre. Tarkovsky had lots of ideas. He dreamed of doing a film about deserters, or making a film version of Dostoyevsky’s An Adolescent. “And imagine how great it would be to shoot a film of all the rumours and stories about Stalin. Imagine what kind of image of the tyrant we would get,” he said. But his trips to Goskino with these numerous suggestions got no support at all. Therefore, all our ideas about future films boiled down to talk in an empty Moscow apartment. It’s too bad there was no tape recorder around so that we could have recorded all our plans for those future films, with their incredible finds and detailed mise en scènes, that were never made. All that’s left of this time are a few amateur photographs.

Goskino turned down Tarkovsky’s ideas one after another and only in relation to science fiction was their attitude different. They viewed it as a genre which was hardly serious and intended for youngsters, so it was possible to entrust it to Tarkovsky!

Tarkovsky had yet a second reason for choosing to film Solaris. This was the theme of nostalgia which is present in the novel. All our work on the film turned into a struggle with the genre. Tarkovsky wrote a new, director’s script where two-thirds of the action takes place on Earth and the trip to outer space is only a small episode in the film. Stanislav Lem vigorously opposed this idea. We were faced with a choice of either abandoning the picture entirely, or consenting to the basic design of the novel.

I then suggested transferring the Earth’s conditions to outer space and creating a space station that looked like a familiar Moscow apartment with square rooms and bookshelves. Instead of portholes it would have windows with fortochkas1 and icicles on the outside of these fortochkas. Both Tarkovsky and Yusov found this idea unacceptable. They were afraid of those comic effects which might arise is such a situation. However, an echo of this idea was preserved in that “Library”, which reproduced conditions on Earth.



Still from Nostalghia, where Gorchakov delivers a sermon on Western materialism in a sunken cathedral, engaging the curiosity of a young girl, Angela


Tarkovsky was always interested in the theme of nostalgia and it is present in nearly all of his films. He even has one film by that name. In one instance it is a longing for home, and in another, for the homeland. In Solaris it is a nostalgia for earthly civilisation in general.

In Lem’s novel, the heroes fly into the planet Solaris which is nothing more than an enormous living being called The Ocean. The Ocean itself is searching for contact with the cosmonauts. And for this reason it materialises their subconscious’s and produces doubles, the phantom representations of their dreams, their sins and their fantastic ideas.



Still from Solaris


In order to produce a sense of nostalgia for the Earth, Tarkovsky got the idea for having The Ocean materialise various objects of earthly culture as well. A long empty corridor on the space station, in whose depths there appears the figure of Saint Sebastian, from the painting by Antonello da Messina. In the background the balconies are hung with rugs, as in the picture. Arrows fly and the image is destroyed. To my great disappointment, Tarkovsky himself later refused to use this episode which was reminiscent of the painting because it contradicted the basic concept of his film language. This language of “living pictures” was unacceptable for him.



Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Brueghel the Elder


But realising that here he couldn’t get away without painting, he shot the episode in the library with a picture by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, “Hunters in the Snow”, as something actually in the space station. This beautiful scene, full of longing for the Earth, is contained within the framework of his aesthetics.



Still from Solaris


In each of Tarkovsky’s films there is, without fail, present a painting which, as it were, in concentrated form expresses the idea of the entire film. In Ivan’s Childhood it is Albrecht Dürer’s “Apocalypse”; in Andrei Rublev, Rublev’s icons; in Solaris, Brueghel’s painting and in Nostalghia, the “Madonna” by Piero della Francesca. In his final film The Sacrifice there are paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci and Russian icons.

Thus it is that the film’s image, which is so infused with a sense of painting and then transformed into the language of film, returns to the screen in its primary form, that of a painted picture.


Tarkovsky edited by Nathan Dunne - Barnes & Noble Pre-Order

Sleepless

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2013, 11:18:41 AM »
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Really enjoyed that, thanks for posting. Where did you get the info on the book being republished? On Amazon the 2012 paperback edition is no longer available, with the older version being resold for $300.

wilder

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2013, 03:44:22 PM »
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I got it from the publisher's website, which actually lists an earlier date, but I think it's safe to say it will be out in a few months.

Pubrick

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2013, 05:49:26 PM »
+1
When, together with the cameraman Yusov, Tarkovsky and I had just begun work on Solaris, we had a chance to see Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. We suddenly wanted to do something completely contradictory to it. After all, each scene in Kubrick’s film is an illustration from a science-fiction magazine. That is, that very same graphic art which has been transferred to the screen. And it isn’t even good quality graphic art.

Invalidated. What the fuck is he talking about? I couldn't read past that part.

Sorry wilderesque, appreciate the effort you put into bringing some intellectual content to the board but this guy is a fucking idiot.

Let's not mistake the proximity a person had working with a genius for any extraordinary insight into the work of said genius.  What I mean is that just because he was "art director" to a great artist doesn't inherently grant his analysis any special weight. Whether the three parties mentioned in his stupid anecdote actually thought so inanely about the greatest film of all time (at the time) is doubtful, he can only credibly speak for himself. The embarrassing assurance with which he says "after all..." and proceeds to dismiss a film which actually redefined the language of cinema is evidence of his narrowmindedness and the general lack of insight I'm referring to.

When you work with the best, people like Kubrick and Tarkovsky, you are just at their service. They are king Ziegler and you are their ignorant servant. By all means tell of the strange events that occurred in your time with these great men, but you are not them, you are a craftsman, they are the artist.

Do you see Larry Smith writing analyses of Kubrick movies? Does Robert Elswit know anything more than how to point a camera and set up lights? They are skillful and therefore useful people, but ultimately they are sillier than the dancing monkeys they are paid to help.
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wilder

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2013, 06:02:58 PM »
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I'm with you there, but aside from the writer's opinion, there's a lot of interesting factual information about Tarkovsky's work process, which is why I thought it was worth posting. The book is a collection of essays by a variety of authors. This is only one of them.

Frederico Fellini

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2013, 01:16:38 PM »
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On the set of SOLARIS.
We fought against the day and we won... WE WON.

Cinema is something you do for a billion years... or not at all.

Pubrick

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2013, 01:49:26 PM »
+3
 I'm sure there are a million pictures of him on and off the set,  please don't post everyone of them.

 this goes for other directors,  actors,  anyone.

 unless it's Terrence Malick,  posting a random picture out of millions available freely to any idiot with access to Google,  without any apparent reason, is completely worthless.
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wilder

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2013, 02:19:41 PM »
+1
Andrei Tarkovsky: The Collector of Dreams is a book that was published last December.

The Sacrifice is Andrei Tarkovsky’s final masterpiece. The film was shot in Sweden, in summer 1985 while Tarkovsky was in exile; it turned out to be his final testament, urging each individual to take personal responsibility for everything that happens in the world.

Day after day, while the film was being made, Layla Alexander-Garrett – Tarkovsky’s on-site  interpreter - kept a diary which forms the basis of her book Andrei Tarkovsky: The Collector Of Dreams.

In this book the great director is portrayed as a real, living person: tormented, happy, inexhaustibly kind but at times harsh, unrelenting, conscience-stricken and artistically unfulfilled. “Don’t ever be afraid of the pronoun I,” Andrei exhorted, “Write only what it is that you feel.”


You can preview the book on this website.

wilder

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Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2014, 03:54:20 PM »
+1
BBC Arena's episode on Andrei Tarkovsky



Also, that Tarkovsky book by Nathan Dunne mentioned above will finally be released on May 13, 2014, and is up for pre-order

 

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