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Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky (2008)


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I thought y'all would be interested to know about this, so I'm pasting this text in from the latest issue of ImageUpdate, Image's bi-monthly e-newsletter:

 

Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky

The films of the Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) are generally long and have little plot or action. Many find them impossible, or at least difficult, to watch. But for many others, Tarkovsky’s films have become life-changing events. His epic, Andrei Rublev, about the famous Russian icon painter, is considered one of the greatest films of all time. Steven Soderbergh so loved Tarkovsky’s science fiction film Solaris that he made his own version as an homage. Tarkovsky’s characters are caught between desire and despair—they hunger for something infinite. Now there is an outstanding documentary about his life and work—a film that could serve either as an introduction to Tarkovsky’s oeuvre, or a satisfying way of digging deeper into films that have become a part of your life. Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky is all the more astonishing because it was made by a young man in his early twenties. Dmitry Trakovsky (no relation to the filmmaker; note the difference of spelling) is the child of Russian immigrants. He grew up in California but developed a fascination with Tarkovsky, whose films are so deeply Russian in spirit. The documentary traces the young man’s journey of discovery, but the focus is squarely on the fascinating individuals he interviews and the places where Tarkovsky lived and filmed. He speaks to the filmmaker’s son, to the Italian actress who appeared in Nostalghia, and to the famous Swedish actor, Erland Josephson, who acted in Tarkovsky’s final film, The Sacrifice. But some of the most profound interviews come from those who have never seen the limelight: a young Orthodox monk from California, the woman who runs the Tarkovsky museum in Russia. Many of these interviews shine with an almost spiritual light—because they have been touched in some way by Tarkovsky’s genius. Perhaps the most moving of all comes from the great Polish film director, Krzysztof Zanussi, who visited Tarkovsky on his deathbed (he died of a brain tumor). Zanussi, a good friend, was already well-known then; Tarkovsky understood that people would come to Zanussi in search of information about him. “Tell them,” he whispered to Zanussi, “that I am a sinner.” One last thing: the young maker of Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky is attempting to prepare the documentary for release on DVD but he needs your pre-orders to have the resources to do so.

We urge you to make the investment; it’s well worth it. Go to the film’s website -- http://trakovskyfilm.com/.

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Thank you Greg, that is great stuff. I don't have any extra money, but I'm going to ask for it for a Christmas present.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I really hope the pre-order scheme works, as this guy is really sharp. But I am just as interested in reading the results of the work on Tarkovsky someone that frequents A&F seems to be hard at work on. I haven't seen that much out there on Tarkovksy's historical context, and there seems to be a lot to that discussion as well.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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I really hope the pre-order scheme works, as this guy is really sharp. But I am just as interested in reading the results of the work on Tarkovsky someone that frequents A&F seems to be hard at work on. I haven't seen that much out there on Tarkovksy's historical context, and there seems to be a lot to that discussion as well.

Actually I wish you would do something like this. I would be first in line.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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