Over the years Tarkovsky wrote several screenplay variants, at times working with Aleksandr Misharin. It is gathered from all sorts of sources, the result of anonymous camera teams, and from so many places – throughout Russia, but also in China, in Berlin, in Spain, in Prague, and in Hiroshima. In his book The Poetics of Space (originally La Poétique de l’Espace, 1958) Gaston Bachelard also wrote about the fleeing quality of memories and, consequently, about the difficulty one has to communicate what they are to others. Some viewers and critics were confused by the use of the same actors for different roles in The Mirror (even though this is a not uncommon strategy: it’s used in the Back To the Future series [1985-90], for instance, and other time travel movies. This script was titled Confession and was proposed to the film committee at Goskino. by Maris Jolas, Beacon Press, 1994, p. 13). (Ibid., p. 29). This text was originally published as ‘Mirror’ in Andrei Tarkovsky. Andrei Tarkovsky’s own step-daughter was the red-haired beloved of the teenage Aleksei, and Tarkovsky’s second wife, Larissa Tarkovskaya, played the doctor’s wife. Their mutually-developed script initially was not approved by the film committee of Goskino, and it was only after several years of waiting that Tarkovsky would be allowed to realize The Mirror. It is a motif out of the dumbest pop promo (don’t Queen have a video where Freddie releases a white dove?). The complete film is available to watch on YouTube (at the time of this writing). In 1960 he graduated from the Soviet State Film School with his first film The Steamroller and the Violin. He is currently (2003) finishing his Masters in Architecture at Harvard Design School. You were bolder, lighter than a bird's wing, Heady as vertigo you ran downstairs Two steps at a time, and led me Through damp lilac, into your domain On the other side, beyond the mirror. Of course memory has to be worked upon before it can become the basis of an artistic reconstruction of the past; and here it is important not to lose the particular emotional atmosphere without which a memory evoked in every detail merely gives rise to a bitter feeling of disappointment. Behind the camera, Vadim Yusov was Tarkovsky’s regular cameraman up until Mirror. One cannot escape the influence of the past, and the same situations are re-enacted (for example, the 1930s family is broken, and the present-day husband and wife have parted). He directed the first five of his seven feature films in the Soviet Union; his last two films, Nostalghia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986), were produced in Italy and Sweden, respectively. SCULPTING IN TIME Andrey Tarkovsky was born in Zavrozhie on the Volga in 1932. Images from Zerkalo [The Mirror] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975). A movie of acutely remembered places. A lot of the footage is familiar from the countless documentaries on World War Two, on Russian history, on Nazi Germany, and on 20th century history (there are whole cable and satellite channels now dedicated to airing this kind of material). How is it that you have such amazingly subtle understanding of all the confusion, complexity and splendour of life?”. He made five more films in Russia: Ivan's Childhood, 1962, Andrey Rublyov, 1966, Solaris, 1972, Mirror, 1978 and Stalker, 1979. Martyrology is better, only nobody knows what it means; and when they find out they won’t allow it. This is the key to understanding the movie. It’s limp. Pier Paolo Pasolini had cast his mother to play the aged Virgin Mary in The Gospel According to Matthew (and Martin Scorsese liked to use his mother in minor roles). Cinema works at the point of viewing in a continuous present, yet it is always, as Jean Cocteau said, “filmed death”. The screenshots featured here all come from this YouTube copy: that’s because it features the exact same subtitles as in the 35 mm copy I saw. Moreover, even more so than in The Mirror itself, the script deals with the romantic legacy of magic mirrors and its possible kinship to the art of cinematography. There is no denying the lucidity and poetic authenticity of these mnemonic images. One can press the “CC” button at the bottom of the viewing window in order to display English captions. Mirror covers three distinct time spans; the mid-1930s, the time of the Second World War and the present day, presumably set in the 1970s. What kind of mirror did you use? The narrator in The Mirror is strictly a narrator, in the technical, literary sense of the term. These images, seemingly a world away from an intimate portrait of childhood, fuse beautifully with the rest of the film. (tr. In February, 1973 Tarkovsky wrote: “I don’t like The Bright Day as a title. It was released in the Soviet Union in early 1975 at a third (then second) distribution category. It never becomes complacent or banal. The concept of The Mirror dates as far back as 1964. He feels he hasn’t loved them enough, and this idea torments him and will not let him be.”. As if by a miracle, Misharin remembered, both he and Tarkovsky had seized the scenes at the same time and shuffled them into the same order. As of October 2012, the only Blu-ray edition available on the market is a Russian one without English subtitles. When the conception of a film is given forms that are life-like, and the concentration is on its affective function rather than on the intellectual formulae of poetic cinema (where the aim is manifestly to provide a vessel for ideas) then it is possible for the audience to relate to that conception in the light of individual experience. The concept, according to Misharin and Tarkovsky, was to trace the “spiritual organization of our society” through “the rightful fate of one person; a person whom we know and love, who is called Mother”. All I ought to say about my childhood home is just barely enough to place me, myself, in an oneiric situation, to set me on the threshold of a day-dream in which I shall find repose in the past. The movie principally takes place in these three time zones (discounting the newsreels), and in, primarily, two locations: a modern day apartment in Moscow, where the narrator lives (but is not seen); and the dacha (house) in the country, where the narrator lived as a boy with his mother, while his father was away at war or in the services. (see Mirror script in Russian) Notes The latest -- Utopia! The true story of Henry Hill, a half-Irish, half-Sicilian Brooklyn kid who is adopted by neighbourhood gangsters at an early age and climbs the ranks of a Mafia family under the guidance of Jimmy Conway. He made five more films in Russia: Ivan's Childhood, 1962, Andrey Rublyov, 1966, Solaris, 1972, Mirror… [Andrei Arsenʹevich Tarkovskii; Arsenii Aleksandrovich Tarkovskii; Aleksandr Misharin; Margarita Terekhova; Oleg Yanovsky; Moskovskaia kinostudiia (quoted in Mirror: The Film Companion by Natasha Synessios, London: I.B. It comes as no surprise that Andrei Tarkovsky, master of Soviet cinema, turned to composer Eduard Artemiev to score his two lyrical and haunting films, The Mirror (1975) and Stalker (1979), as he had done for Solaris (also available on Superior Viaduct). Rather than first completing a scenario and shooting script for the film, Tarkovsky conscientiously allowed for Mirror’s content and form to develop … All the characters share that plight―they are tongue-tied, they stutter; overwhelmed by emotion they speak in quotes, obliquely; disheartened, they take flight. And none of the characters in The Mirror refer to the footage, or even to the events depicted in the newsreels. Misharin recalled that he and Tarkovsky only fell out seriously once or twice. Absolutely. In Mirror Tarkovsky took this intuitive approach to creativity to an almost paradoxically methodological extreme. Matriarchy and female solidarity is affirmed, as is generation-to-generation continuity, ambiguity and sadness.“I should like to ask you all not to be so demanding, and not to think of The Mirror as a difficult film”, Andrei Tarkovsky asserted in 1975. Part of what makes a Tarkovsky film so atmospheric is his unique approach to sound design. Some of the newsreel will be familiar (the nuclear bomb explosions require no gloss). Andrei Tarkovsky had originally planned filming interviews with his mother with a concealed camera, using questions such as “when did you begin smoking?”, “do you like animals?”, “are you superstitious?”, “are men or women stronger, do you think?”, “do you ever have friends outside your circle?”, “do you always speak the truth?”, “what would make you especially happy now?”, “have you ever envied youth?”, “which are your favourite poems?”, “are you capable of hatred?”, “which part of your life would you say was happy?”, “what do you think about space travel?”, “do you like Bach?”, “what do you remember about the war with Spain?”, “what was the funniest thing that ever happened to you?”, “are you a good swimmer?”, “do you remember the day when you sensed you would become a mother for the first time?”, “which is your favourite season?”, “have you ever starved?”, “what do you think about war?”, “what is freedom?”, “how many years did you work at the printers?”, and “are you scared of the dark?”. 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