Andrei TarkovskyAndrei Tarkovsky’s seeking and poetic cinema struggled to break bonds, or come to terms, with oppression. The specter of a haunted childhood, the spiritual bondage of a rigid God, the censorship of a totalitarian regime, or a mankind ready to destroy the world sat heavy in Tarkovsky’s narratives but his curious protagonists strove to survive and push on to a better day. An enthusiast of the humanistic Dovzhenko, Mizoguchi and Ingmar Bergman schools of filmmaking Tarkovsky believed “The mise-en-scene…should follow life-the personalities of the characters and their psychological state…Its function is to startle us with the authenticity of the actions and the beauty and the depths of the artistic images-not by obtrusive illustration of their meaning”.

Through the use of mesmerizing long takes, graceful and fluid tracking shots, and depth of focus, Tarkovsky’s camera operated as an all-encompassing eye. His cinema is a fleeting blend of the tactile and the ethereal where innocuous off-screen sounds—a whisper, a cry, tinkling glasses or the rumbling heavens—could spiral his protagonists into the abyss of the unsettled past or thrust them into a foreboding future.

The sympathetic viewer is liable to suffer every agonizing, intense moment in anticipation of what’s to come. Even as situations grow dire, this artist of faith floods his canvases with rays of abundant sunshine, currents of cool water, and beams of transcendent hope. Tarkovsky’s metaphysical cinema pierces the gloom and clears paths toward mankind’s ultimate redemption.

    Early influence.

Tarkovsky was the son of a doting, feminist mother, Maria Ivanova, and the important, if largely unrecognized, Soviet poet Arseny Tarkovsky. His parents divorced early on and Andrei was raised by Maria Ivanova, who like Arseny was a devotee of the arts. An accomplished translator for a Moscow publisher, Maria Ivanova always made sure to bring little Andrei along on her frequent visits to the theatre and opera.

During WWII Maria Ivanova, Andrei and his sister managed to escape Moscow to the safety of the countryside where the boy grew to appreciate the beauty, silence and laws of nature. Still, Andrei would always remain drawn to his melancholic father, who returned home from the horrors of WWII sans a leg but with a medal and chilling stories which kept his young son in rapt awe. Much of the psychological pain the director experienced due to his parents’ break-up and troubled aftermath found its muted voice in Tarkovsky’s most autobiographical film, The Mirror.

At eighteen, the ambitious Andrei studied Arabic at Moscow’s Institute of Oriental Languages before entering the Soviet State School for film (VGIK) in 1956. There, he became protégé to famous Soviet director Mikhail Romm who was instrumental in opening doors behind the Iron Curtain for the aspiring filmmaker.

Two student films co-directed by Tarkovsky’s classmate and future brother in-law Aleksandr Gordon found the young filmmaker to have a steady hand and mature voice beyond his years. Ubiytsy is a nineteen minute short film based on the Ernest Hemingway short story The Killers which had already been made into a classic American noir by Robert Siodmak in 1946.

  How well did you know the Swede?

This primitive Russian version by Tarkovsky, Gordon and Marika Beiku is more faithful to Hemingway’s original Nick Adams sketch about a pair of hoodlums (Gordon and Tarkovsky!) who visit a diner in search of Ole Andreson (Vasili Shukshin), a former boxer now running from the mob. The action is contained to two bleak-looking sets where the grim events, including a regrettably racist interlude, play out in a predictable manner but it is already clear to see Tarkovsky knew his way around a camera.

Filmed three years later with a bigger budget, a professional cast and crew There Will Be No Leave Today tells the story of a band of demolition experts called upon to dismantle a pile of German bombshells from WWII buried beneath an unsuspecting Soviet town. Owing its inspiration to Italian neo-realism and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nitro-thriller The Wages Of Fear, the forty-five minute VGIK film turns out to be as character-driven as anything in the Tarkovsky oeuvre.

  When someone else is driving, I’m scared.

After the stockpile of missiles is found in the town square the local populace are sent into near panic when they are ordered to evacuate the area. A team of army munitions experts are given the task of unearthing the still-live weapons and carting them off to a safe destination where they can be detonated. A gripping, well-told nail-biter There Will Be No Leave Today is also Tarkovsky’s most conventional and impersonal film.

Tarkovsky would finally claim exclusive authorship of his next short and while the strains of neo-realism would infect its lyrical story the director’s stark use of urban imagery and his innate poetry left a lingering impression on an International audience. The Steamroller and the Violin, Tarkovsky’s brilliant graduation short from VGIK, was co-scripted by frequent collaborator Andrei Mikhailov-Konchalovsky, future director of Siberiade, Runaway Train and the immortal Tango & Cash.

Contrasting old world Russia against the progressive Soviet Union under Khrushchev this colorful allegory follows the fleeting friendship between Sasha (Igor Fomchenko), a sheltered young violinist and Sergei (Vladimir Zamansky), a Moscow steamroll driver who takes the boy under his wing. After being bullied by the local boys fatherless Sasha finds a protector in Sergei who teaches him to drive his steamroller, impressing the neighborhood kids to no end.

Sasha brings beauty into the working man’s life by playing a serenade on the violin and the two friends make plans to take in a movie later that day. When Sasha’s mother learns of the stranger’s intentions she forbids her son to keep the date and locks him indoors. Sasha’s attempt to notify Sergei goes in vain and the jilted steamroller hooks up with a lonely local girl.

  Promise of great things to come.

By the end of the 1950s the Little Man lyricism of Shoeshine and Bicycle Thief had pretty much run its course, so Tarkovsky infused his song of the street with a refreshing air of the fantastic as seen through a boy’s eyes. The film marked the beginning of an important collaboration between Tarkovsky and cinematographer Vadim Yusov whose mobile, floating camera would capture innumerable transcendent passages in both Ivan’s Childhood and Andrei Rublev. The noble intentions and sheer beauty of the color production helps us overlook the dated, populist message. Still this marvelous student film could in no way prepare the world for Tarkovsky’s first full-length feature.

Based on a short story by Vladimir Bogomolov and crafted into a screenplay by Mikhail Papava, Ivan’s Childhood (AKA My Name Is Ivan) is a luminous and breathtaking WWII story about a twelve year old orphan who becomes a mostly unlikely intelligence scout behind German lines. After navigating miles of swampy terrain to narrowly escape the Nazis Ivan (Nicholai Burlyaev) is taken in by a Soviet infantry unit commanded by Captain Kholin (Valentin Zubkov). Lieutenant Galtsev (Yevgeni Zharikov) befriends the feisty boy and finally puts him down to sleep where Ivan dreams of his mother and idyllic childhood on the banks of the Crimea.

Ivan soon finds he has a new family of army officers who do their best to keep young Ivan out of the line of fire. When Ivan learns he is to be sent to a military school he runs away beginning an odyssey which takes him across the war-torn Russian countryside. He has a fortuitous meeting with a mad old man (Dmitri Milyutenko) who lingers in the ruins of his bombed-out home, oblivious to the danger closing in on him. Ivan is returned to the unit but his story will not have a happy ending as we learn he will be recaptured and executed by the Nazis.

Ivan’s Childhood is a haunting work about war’s devastation and its aftermath. As we shall see in Andrei Rublev Russia has been forever vulnerable to invaders (Tartars, Napoleon & the Nazis) who destroy its landscape and predators that pick the peasants clean. Told in a series of episodes with only a semblance of structure, the narrative drifts in and out in Ivan’s consciousness, interweaving memories of his mother and sister and experiences with his current reality as a hardened orphan on the war front.

  Movement is meaningful in the context of stillness.

Upon completion Ivan’s Childhood ran into censorship difficulties with the Soviet government but the controversies were quelled when the film won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. Suddenly, the troublesome boy wonder of the Soviet cinema was an international star.

Tarkovsky’s next project Andrei Rublev took several years getting to the screen because the plight of the fifteenth century icon painter in an occupied Russia all too closely rivaled many of the problems Soviet artists were having with their totalitarian government. Like Ivan the film unreels dreamily over several episodes covering yet another tumultuous epoch in Russian history.

After a wondrous initial sequence, where we follow the mad exploits of a balloonist plummeting to a presumed death, young Andrei Rublev (Anatoly Solonitsyn) leaves a monastery with two fellow monks, Danil (Nikolai Grinko) and Kirill (Ivan Lapikov), in search of work on the road to Moscow. After boarding at the residence of a jester the men continue on their trek to the capital unaware that their needling host will soon be arrested by soldiers.

Later, the monks arrive at the studio of master icon artist Theophanes the Greek (Nikolai Sergeyev) who invites Kirill to help him decorate Moscow’s Cathedral of the Annunciation. Kirill and Danil become jealous of the interest Theophanes takes in the earnest, unsophisticated Rublev. After work on the cathedral is complete the world-weary artist and idealistic apprentice disagree about the existence of God and the soul, or lack thereof, of the Russian people.

In the episode The Holiday Rublev stumbles onto a pagan ritual in the countryside. Struck numb by the naked, godless people Andrei is captured, tied to a tree and left for dead until he is rescued by Marfa (Nelly Snegina), a reveler who wants to seduce the chaste monk. The next morning Andrei watches helplessly as Marfa narrowly escapes as invading soldiers begin a bloody raid on the pagan camp.

That summer Rublev and Danil begin decorating a church in Vladimir. Struggling over a depiction of The Last Judgment, self-doubting Rublev halts work to recall a grisly episode in his career when he worked for an arrogant Prince who gouged the eyes of his artists so they would not be able to duplicate their creations for rival aristocracy. At wit’s end Andrei finally finds strange inspiration in pretty Durochka (Irma Raush), a holy fool who has wandered into their presence.

That autumn while the Grand Prince is traveling abroad his brother leads a band of Tartars into Vladimir where they terrorize the locals and destroy the church where Rublev has been painting an iconic fresco. When a tartar attempts to rape Durochka, Andrei kills the man. After the violence subsides the shattered Rublev takes a vow of silence and quits his art in despair.

For years Andrei wanders aimlessly with Durochka until he returns to the Andronikov Monastery and asks to be taken back in. Once again, Tartar warriors arrive in the village and one of the men sweeps Durochka off her feet and takes her away to become one of his many wives.

Ten years pass and the wandering Rublev runs across an obsessed young artisan Boriska (Nicolai Burlyaev) who risks his neck to create a magnificent bell for an intolerant local prince. Through hard work, religious inspiration and a lot of bluffing Boriska miraculously succeeds in creating a masterpiece, prompting Rublev to come out of his self-imposed shell and fulfill his destiny as an artist.

This panoramic, Bruegelian canvas bursts into magnificent color in an epilogue confirming the far-seeing vision of Rublev’s passion. Tarkovsky’s spiritual, political masterpiece was ruthlessly cut by Soviet censors. The original three hour twenty-five minute film seems lost forever but the recently re-edited a three hour three minute version of Andrei Rublev is a noticeable improvement over the official release.

    Art would be useless if the world were perfect.

Not surprisingly, Tarkovsky’s uncompromising methods gray-listed him in the Soviet film industry and for his next film it was clear he would have to tone down the rhetoric in order to survive as a filmmaker. Despite the fact it would take five years for Tarkovsky to negotiate the general release of Andrei Rublev, he may have been curiously fortunate to have made the bulk of his films in the Soviet Union.

While the stigma of state censorship was ever present, the meticulous director was given ample opportunity to rethink, re-shoot and re-edit (an impossibility in bottom-line western film industries), and when his work began to get international recognition he was given a freer-reign to pursue his vision.

Tarkovsky became more obsessed over the cinema’s potentialities. His remaining films were increasingly apocalyptic yet surprisingly buoyant, propelled by hungry souls struggling to make sense of their time on earth.

In Solaris, the pessimistic psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) is sent up to visit three cosmonauts on a space station orbiting a planet called Solaris after some unusual transmissions have been sent to ground control. Before Kelvin begins his mission he says good-bye to his ailing father and meets with a pilot who spins a far-fetched story of inexplicable activity on the ocean surface of Solaris.

After arriving at the curiously desolate space station Kelvin is told one of the scientists Dr. Gibrarian (Sos Sargsyan) is in fact dead. Gibrarian has left disturbing video for his friend Kelvin which implicates the other two scientists Snaut (Juri Jarvet) and Sartorius (Anatoli Solonitsyn) in suspicious experimental activity. Kelvin soon finds he has a not unwelcome roommate in the would-be person of his wife Hari (Natalya Bondarchuk) who had committed suicide years ago.

Although haunted by his love for Hari, Kelvin realizes she is nothing more than a psychological illusion, so he puts her in a rocket and shoots her out into space. Hari reappears the same night in the space station and crawls into bed with her husband. After Hari learns she is merely an apparition she tries to break out of Kelvin’s room, cutting herself badly in the process. Her wounds heal without medical aid leading the two scientists surmise Kari is a creation of the oceans of Solaris, taken from a template set in Kelvin’s mind.

After learning about her sad history and contemplating the hopeless of her situation, Kari commits suicide a second time only to be brought back to life by the strength of Kelvin’s feelings for her. One night while Kelvin is asleep, Hari finally succeeds in having the scientists put her out of her misery. Resigned to his fate, Kelvin is torn between returning to Earth or allowing the planet’s mysterious oceans to regenerate his past where he can mend fences and find peace of mind.

   Mediocrity and genius are equally useless!

Solaris author Stanislaw Lem visited the set and quarreled with Tarkovsky about liberties he was taking with the narrative.  But the director remained largely sympathetic to the text, even if he was using the source material as a blueprint for a grander statement about guilt, man’s spiritual quests, and his undermining of the environment.

With The Mirror Tarkovsky broke with any semblance of traditional narrative to create a cinema of the imagination, a poetic, painterly style he would perfect over his four remaining films. By threading his father Arseni’s poems through a multi-layered remembrance of childhood and a more complicated present, The Mirror turned out to be one Tarkovsky’s most abstract yet deeply personal works.

What unreels is an Impressionist flow of thoughts and visual memories from the unseen Alexei who has split from his wife Natalia (Margarita Terekhova) with whom he has fathered a sulky adolescent son Ignat (Ignat Daniltsev). When Alexei tries to take sole custody of Ignat, Natalia scolds him for living in a dream-like past where his beautiful wife has usurped the memory of Alexei’s mother. And it is true, in Alexei’s imagination Natalia has taken on the persona of his mother Maria, whose feistiness caused her husband to flee leaving her the burden of bringing up two sons.

Tarkovsky re-threads Alexei’s selective memory with a more apocalyptic drama playing out on the world stage as seen in documentary footage of the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of Stalingrad, Hiroshima and the Maoist Revolutions in China. We find young Alexei accompanying his mother on visits to neighbors in the village, witnessing deeds of reckless bravery at Soviet military camp, experiencing his first platonic crush, and having a brief but warm reunion with his father after the war.

His adult years prove more muddled and unhappy. His marriage to Natalia dissolves because she is not as strong as his mother and seems unwilling to act firm where the parenting of Ignat is concerned. Ignat turns down the opportunity of living with his emotionally distant father, a fortuitous decision in light of Alexei’s untimely demise which his physician astutely chalks up to a broken soul.

In his memoir Sculpting in Time Tarkovsky defended his difficult yet hauntingly beautiful film by quoting several letters from traumatized and thankful viewers who experienced the same eerie, fragmented memories of life during a tumultuous era. Apart from a frantic sequence where proofreader Maria rushes to retrieve faulty work from the censor The Mirror turns out to be Tarkovsky’s most pastoral work. The film ran into trouble with Soviet censors but fortunately The Mirror found an audience abroad giving Tarkovsky the confidence to tackle the kind of complex life mysteries his peers in the West couldn’t even begin to contemplate.

In my dream I become aware that I’m only dreaming it.

Several years in the making Stalker, Tarkovsky’s last feature made in the Soviet Union, is a chilling supernatural tale many western critics saw as a parable for mankind’s quest for freedom and enlightenment behind the Iron Curtain. After ditching the entirety of an initial shoot and replacing his original cinematographer with Aleksandr Knyazhinsky and Georgi Rerberg, Tarkovsky moved the production from dusty central Russia to rainy Estonia where the film took on a density proportionate to the speculative material.

Based on a science fiction novel by Akkadiy and Boris Strugatskiy and set in an industrial region of obscure origins, peasants and elites from far and wide travel to a mysterious Zone where a meteorite had crashed to earth twenty years before. In the Zone, there is said to be a Room where a sympathetic visitor’s most fervent wish could be granted. A Writer (Anatoly Solonitsyn) and Professor (Nikolai Grinko) hire a tormented local man (Alexander Kaidanovsky) to be their guide, or “Stalker”, to lead them to the Room.

Citing his previous run-ins with authorities the Stalker’s wife (Alisa Frejndlikh) warns him against resuming his old career but the lure of leading the uninitiated into the Zone quells any fears of returning to prison. While preparing for the journey at a bleak bar in the Stalker’s grim hometown the film stock takes on a sepia-tone and the atmosphere grows oppressive as befits the conversation between the cynical scribe and the other two men. The Stalker drives the men in a jeep towards the area’s entrance where they are met by halfhearted machine gun fire from soldiers too spooked to follow them into the Zone.

After taking a lonely trolley past the border the Stalker guides the bumbling intellectuals through wetlands, past railway tracks and abandoned houses where, perhaps not so incidentally, the film stock gradually warms into vivid color. After much hesitation and existential squabbling the men finally arrive at the precipice of the Room. Wishing to annihilate the public superstition that a visit to this holiest of secular areas can offer peace of mind the Professor makes his intentions clear he intends on throwing a bomb into the Room.

The Writer and Stalker succeed in overpowering the Professor but just as the two visitors are about to touch the grail they are overcome by self-doubt and refuse to cross the invisible precipice. They disband back in town leaving the Stalker’s wife to tend to her recovering husband who is left questioning his clients’ sincerity.

The expansive, Impressionist filmmaking style Tarkovsky perfected in The Mirror goes far here in creating an unsettling ambiance and excruciating anticipation as the unlikely trio presses towards their date with the unknown. For these late-period films, in which his troubled protagonists grow walk a tightrope between lucidity and insanity, Tarkovsky creates a cinema of faith without the dogma of organized religion.

The everyman Stalker is frustrated by an inability to make the writer and professor respect his queer, ancient methods and the sacred path to the would-be grail. Fear of the unknown finally consumes the two worldly men and both shy away from taking the leap of faith that could bring them heaven on earth.

  The Zone wants to be respected.

Tarkovsky spent the next several years teaching cinematography and co-directing (with Antonioni/Fellini screenwriter Antonio Guerra) the sixty-two minute documentary Voyage in Time shot while location scouting in Italy for his next feature, Nostalghia. In Voyage Tarkovsky (in white shorts, no less) looks like the crassest sort of tourist and gets caught making grumpy comments on Italy’s tourism culture as he rejects picture postcard towns around the Amalfi coast as possible locations for Nostalghia.

During their down time Guerra queries Tarkovsky about his directing methods, his influences (Dovzhenko, Bresson, Antonioni) and the artistic value of genre movies (which he rejects for relying too heavily on montage therefore negating its cinematic worth). Seen alongside Nostalghia this documentary offers many insights into the feature’s unhappy protagonist and the struggle going on in Tarkovsky’s soul during this major turning point in his life and career.

   The artist has a right to any fiction.

Initially intended to be Tarkovsky’s first production shot abroad, Nostalghia was funded by Italian public TV and French Gaumont after his Soviet backers pulled out of the project. This story about a displaced scholar researching an artist in foggy Tuscany struck close to home for a filmmaker torn between the love of country and his chosen craft.

Soviet historian Andrei Gorchakov (Oleg Yankovsky) settles in Bagno Vignoni, an ancient Tuscan spa town to study a book about an 18th century Russian composer who left a successful career in Italy to return to his homeland as a lowly serf where he ultimately committed suicide. While on the trail of his subject Andrei grows homesick for his wife and becomes increasingly bored with the beautiful ruins of the region.

His gloominess irritates his Italian translator and erstwhile lover Eugenia (Domiziana Giordano). At their hotel Eugenia’s tantrums only encourage Andrei to withdraw even more, prompting him to strike up an acquaintance with the town madman Domenico (Erland Josephson) who, like Andrei, sees himself as a protector of his family against a hostile world. Having already sequestered his wife and children from the public for seven years, Domenico takes his hopeless quest to save humanity to Rome where he immolates himself in front of a chorus of onlookers.

Inspired by the noble fool, Andrei attempts to walk across the sulfuric baths in Bagno Vignoni, but when he finally succeeds his weak heart gives out.

Perhaps Tarkovsky’s most personal film, Nostalghia pushes the director’s meditative method of filmmaking to the extreme. Andrei absorbs Domenico’s strange compassion and Dostoevskian madness prompting the melancholic academic to plod through the wet ruins of the sleepy spa town, strike up philosophical conversations with the local children and act out his own bizarre passion play.

   Feelings unspoken are unforgettable. 

Tarkovsky’s Italian odyssey, combined with the lack of support from a Soviet film industry he helped put back on the map, prompted his defection to the west in 1983. Already cut off from his family, his mentor father Arseny and homeland, Tarkovsky would soon be posed with the greatest struggle of all, his own mortality.

Tarkovsky’s migration to the permissive west offered more artistic opportunity, as evidenced by his staging of a controversial interpretation of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov at London’s Covent Garden, and a plethora of offers from financiers eager to attach their names to the prestigious filmmaker. But Tarkovsky’s move to a Europe haunted by Romanticism and Dead Culture conflicted with his ascetic take on spirituality and man’s place in the world.

   Ambitious Tartar.

Unbeknownst to Tarkovsky he was gravely ill with cancer when he began the Swedish production of The Sacrifice which made the film’s redemptive Judeo-Christian themes all the more impacting.

The Sacrifice opens with a small group of family and friends gathering at the rural home of Alexander (Erland Josephson), a former stage actor and erstwhile critic, to celebrate his birthday. Alexander’s eccentricities have already put a damper on festivities which come to a complete standstill when the sounds of overhead aircraft and a sonic boom rattle the house.

Stranded in the country and anxious for delivery, they gather around the radio to hear the grim news that a new World War is upon them. As the spirit of the cloistered little community melts down we learn Alexander’s marriage to the British actress Adelaide (Susan Fleetwood) is an unhappy one. After falling in love with Alexander and marrying him at the height of his fame, Adelaide was taken aback by his abrupt retirement from the stage and
their subsequent retreat to a barren Swedish island.

Tiring of Alexander’s eccentricities, Adelaide has been carrying on with their friend Victor (Swen Wolter), a local ladies man who surprises the group by announcing he is taking a job Australia. Alexander’s partner in philosophical crime is Otto (Allan Edwall), a former schoolteacher and local postman, who rebuts the actor’s religious speculations and plants the idea in Alexander’s confused head that his servant Maria (Gudrun Gisladottir) is actually a witch.

In despair over the prospect in living in a post-nuclear wasteland, Alexander offers to sacrifice himself to God to spare the people he loves. In the grip of madness he visits Maria’s house and begs the baffled servant to sleep with him. Awakening from what may have well been a nightmare Alexander sets his home ablaze as part of his final sacrifice before being carted off to an asylum in the shattering six minute finale.

  In the beginning was the Word. Why is that, Papa? 

Shot in muted colors with an unusually static camera (by Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist), Tarkovsky’s most linear feature bares resemblance to Stalker and Solaris as a philosophical and spiritual journey into the soul of man. Adhering closely to an original screenplay filled with ruminations about human existence, God, familial guilt and professional self-doubt, The Sacrifice is the culmination of a transcendental odyssey begun with The Mirror. Upon completion of such a complete work of art, cineastes were left to wonder where Tarkovsky could have gone next had not tragedy already befallen this relatively young Russian filmmaker.


Books on Tarkovsky:

Sculpting in Time – Andrei Tarkovsky ****1/2 Tarkovsky’s followers and all connoisseurs of the cinema should treat themselves to this meticulously crafted and marvelous book in which the director discusses his art. It caps an all too short, but sublime, career.

Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema – Robert Bird **** Professor Bird’s insightful study of the elements in Tarkovsky’s films goes a long ways in helping make sense of an extremely elusive body of work. Essential reading.

Andrei Tarkovsky: Interviews – ed. John Gianvito **** This winning entry in the ongoing series of director interviews from the University Press of Mississippi finds Tarkovsky in a feisty mood, defending his homeland against the rootless west and decrying the lack of spirituality in 20th Century art and film and feminism. As with other books in this series many of the interviews tread the same ground, but the opinions expressed here go a long way in putting Tarkovsky’s metaphysical oeuvre into a proper context.

The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue – Vida T. Johnson & Graham Petrie **** This concise yet authoritative tome covers all the bases beginning with the director’s manipulation of the strict guidelines of the Soviet film industry to his ultimate triumph in becoming a truly revolutionary filmmaker.


Feature Films by Tarkovsky:

1962  Ivan’s Childhood (My Name Is Ivan) ****1/2
1966  Andrei Rublev ****1/2
1972  Solaris ****
1975  The Mirror ****1/2
1979  The Stalker *****
1983  Nostalghia ****
1986  The Sacrifice *****


Shorts & Documentary Films by Tarkovsky

1956  Ubiytsy ***1/2
1959  There Will Be No Leave Today ***1/2
1960  The Steamroller & the Violin ****
1983  Voyage in Time ***1/2 (co-directed with Antonio Guerra)


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