Monday, 2 August 2010


Zerkalo; known in the UK as Mirror.

This is a film by Andrei Tarkovsky made in 1975. It's regarded as Tarkovsky's most inaccessible film, and probably his most 'experimental'. Some sites even claim it's a "learning curve". Just sit and watch it, it's just a different experience. You don't need "tools" to watch this film, you don't need to follow a story line. You'll follow a series of emotions.

This is actually a really beautiful film. I don't actually think that I am able to describe to you in words what the film entails, as its all series of childhood memories. Somehow, Tarkovsky was making me feel nostalgic. Childhood nostalgia. How he managed to do that through the Russian countryside I do not know. Perhaps whatever presence is out there in the Russian countryside is also present within myself. I would say tranquility, but the film is far too speculative for that.

I think this film, as seems to be the case with all of Tarkovsky's I've seen has so many aspects of depth in it's very nature. His father, Arseny Tarkovsky was a poet, and a lot of his poems feature in this. Poems don't tell stories the same ways in which novels do. I think this film is the closest film gets to poetry.

You'll probably find such 'advice' from the movie sites online, but it's something I think you'll learn to adopt if you have an open mind. Does that mean you'll have to endure and force yourself to like it? No. It just means that film, in its rawest form, is a series of moving images, and the storyline of a film shouldn't actually be necessary. Let the visuals and genuine artistic value of this film tell the story for you -- adopt your own story and your own perspective.

A quote from Tarkovsky: "A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books." - perhaps the same can be said for this film? I think it can.

Here's another: "A literary work can only be received through symbols, through concepts - for that is what words are; but cinema, like music, allows for utterly direct, emotional, sensuous perception of the work." This quote alone gives you an insight why he'd combine his directing talents with his father's poetry, right?

Even the sounds in this film will just change the way you think about sound completely. Yes, music is supposed to do that, but film as such a visual form of art tends to neglect music completely and uses it to enhance certain emotions that the viewer is supposed to feel from a scene. The case with Tarkovsky is that sound seems to be prominent force, and the visuals enhance the sound. A greater example is in Stalker.

Imagine walking into a deserted art gallery and have no choice but to be pulled into a nostalgic presence from so long ago, you are left questioning who you are? That's what this film did for me, even if the subtitles on the DVD version have been criticised, I still love this film. Perhaps I'd love the VHS version even more. To conclude: I don't know what rip of this film I have.

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