-Wir sein pettler. Hoc est verum.--"We are beggars. This is true."--Martin Luther-

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sights and Sounds from Andrei Tarkovsky's The Mirror

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (Russian: Андре́й Арсе́ньевич Тарко́вский) (April 4, 1932 - December 29, 1986) was a Soviet filmmaker, writer and opera director.

Tarkovksy is listed among the 100 most critically acclaimed film directors; director Ingmar Bergman was quoted as saying "Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream".

Tarkovsky worked extensively as a screenwriter, film editor, film theorist and theater director. He directed most of his films in the Soviet Union, with the exception of his last two films, which were produced in Italy and Sweden. His films are characterized by Christian spirituality and metaphysical themes, extremely long takes, lack of conventional dramatic structure and plot, and memorable cinematography.

Tarkovsky's film, The Mirror, is a semi-autobiographical account of Alexei, a middle aged man who has taken ill and is dying. The film is a blended collage of both present day and past memories/dreams that circle around the themes of childhood, motherhood, the war, his father's abandonment, his own son, and his estranged wife. The film is a reflection of many of Tarkovsky's own experiences growing up, including: His fathers own abandonment and enlistement to the war effort; Living with his mother and moving to Moscow during the war; Both Alexi and Tarkovsky's mothers worked as proofreaders at a printing press; Tarkovsky includes many of his own father's poems into the The Mirror.

These are a series of looks at this BEAUTIFUL and POETIC film, incorporating some great music to top it off.

Scenes from The Mirror set to minamalist composer, Arvo Pärt's "Mirror in the Mirror."

More scenes from The Mirror, set to Iron and Wine's "Naked as We Came."

The last two scenes from The Mirror with an absolutely breathtaking performance of Bach's "St. John Passion" in the background. In the last scene, right after Alexi's death, we see a pre-war Maria, his mother, talking of his expected birth. It then pans to a dream-like sequence where we see a young Alexi and his sister taking a walk with an elderly Maria. Then we see a beautiful fade out between the trees with the three walking off in the distance. Perfect!

1 comment:

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