Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema by Robert Bird

By Robert Bird

The masters of Russian arts and letters are a prestigious fraternity that incorporates such popular artists as Tolstoy, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich. yet along those luminaries stands a lesser-known yet both respected determine, filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. Robert chook bargains in Andrei Tarkovsky an exceptional research of Tarkovsky’s oeuvre and its far-reaching impact on international cinema.
Bird brings a singular method of his dissection of Tarkovsky’s totally unique options and sensibilities, arranging the flicks into elemental different types of Water, fireplace, Earth, and Air. Solaris, Ivan’s Childhood, Mirror, Nostalgia, Andrei Rublev, and Sacrifice all get their due right here; via them, fowl explores how the filmmaker probed the elusive correlation among cinematic illustration and a extra primeval notion of the realm. notwithstanding the publication additionally considers Tarkovsky’s paintings in radio, theatre, and opera—as good as his paintings as an actor, screenwriter, and movie theorist—Bird all through retains his concentration firmly on Tarkovsky as a consummate filmmaker. Anchored via a wealth of movie stills and pictures, Andrei Tarkovsky is a must-read for all movie buffs and admirers of ecu cinema. (20070608)

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For instance, as Efim pushes off from rhe church, an unseen woman seems to whi per '0 Lord', bm rhis derail rcmains cnigmaric. tthcr ro focu on containing the full amplirudc of mulrivalem rea lity with a single field of vi'>ion. ,ode, 'The jeMcr', cxtcnds this medir:Hion on filmic vision in a number of ways. Firsr rhcrc is rhc Tarkovski:tn rain, which fall:. in sheets in fronr of rhc camera whilc rhe rhrcc monb jog. Hih - the background, bathed in sunlight. hot of four horses on a spit of land (which also srand in sunlight, barring away Aiel> with their rails).

Something collapses here, I'm not sure what' (AIF 297). However, his very next film, Stalker, features just such a collapse of the fourth wall, when the Stalker's wife addresses her monologue directly to the camera. Instead of seeking to conceal the screen or pass it over as 'reality', Tarkovsky is constantly playing with its mediation - not to overcome the separation between actor and audi­ ence, or between fiction and rea lity, but to transform their interrelation. As Ocleuze has written, the screen is 'the cerebral membrane where immediate and direct confrontations take place between the past and the furure [ .

10 It has often been noted rhar Tarkovsky adapted Safaris to his own poet­ ics by bringing it down ro earth, rooting Kelvin's cosmic experiences in his home. However, it is no less important rhar Tarkovsky chose a srory based on the power of an uncanny (uniJeimlich) Ocean endowed with an alien intelligence. In many respects Solaris takes to an extreme the spari:tl drama of Ivan's Childhood, where human habitations arc over­ taken by the Aows of w:trer as much as by the shifting front of war. Surrounding rhe home as a churning ocean, penetrating within as unc:tnny rain, warer becomes nn all-destructive force.

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