Sunday, August 17, 2008

Andrei Tarkovsky Film Interviews

Andrei Tarkovsky was the great Russian filmmaker who made Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Stalker, The Mirror, and The Sacrifice, among others. His images are some of the greatest ever recorded on film. Though his films are not easy, they never leave your mind once you've seen them.

He felt that cinema served a spiritual purpose rather than an intellectual one.

Here are three clips from film interviews with the director:

Tarkovsky had a theory which held that when you make a film you are actually 'sculpting in time.' You are fixing and conserving a moment in time for future people to experience. This is beautiful thinking, but I do actually think he's wrong. I am more inclined to think that one cannot conserve or fix anything. What you record from a particular angle is never experienced the same way twice by anyone. The moment that you capture changes in its interpretation as time passes and changes physically as it is played on different pieces of equipment in different physical situations. You never see the same film twice. This holds even for digital mediums. The film Tarkovsky shot in 1965 is not the same film that I see now. When you make a film you are simply decorating someone's wall or screen with colors and suggestions that change over time, just like real chipped paint. A novel is a much more accurate method for fixing moments in time than a film is. That is, until the language itself begins to change and leaves the novel far behind. This is why a film should be extremely dense with meanings that are both obvious and hidden. That way, the film can gain unexpected life as time passes and changes the film. As the film decays over a long period of time, it will slowly release its hidden meanings and suggestions the way decaying matter in the earth slowly creates a rich soil.

But don't get me wrong, you cannot find a greater thinker on film than Andrei Tarkovsky.

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