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Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (April 4, 1932 - December 28, 1986) was a Russian movie director, writer, and actor.

He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmakers of the Soviet era in Russia and the greatest of the latter part of the 20th century. His films are characterised by a sense of spiritual quest, extremely long takes, and memorable images of exceptional beauty. Recurring motifs in his films are reflections and running water, with characters re-appearing in the foreground of long panning movements of the camera.

Tarkovsky was a product of the golden era of Soviet arts education. He received a classical education in Moscow, followed by a rigorous training over five years at the VGIK film school. Although the Christian symbolism of his films led to prevarication and occasional suppression of the finished product on the part of the Soviet authorities, the Mosfilm studio system enabled him to make films that would not have been commercially viable in the West. However, Tarkovsky's principal complaint about his treatment by the authorities was that he had many more ideas in him than he was allowed to bring to the screen, and in 1984, after shooting Nostalghia in Italy, he decided not to return to Russia. After this he made only one more film, The Sacrifice, a European co-production filmed in Sweden, before dying of cancer in Paris at the early age of 54.

Andrei Tarkovsky was buried in a graveyard for Russian émigrés in the town of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois[?], Île-de-France, France.

Selected filmography

  • The Steamroller and the Violin[?] (1960) - Tarkovsky's graduation film from VGIK, the Soviet State Film School.
  • My Name is Ivan[?] (1962) - Set in the Second World War, this is Tarkovsky's most conventional feature film, although it still has moments of lyrical beauty.
  • Andrei Rublev[?] (1966) - An epic showing scenes in the life of the famous medieval Russian painter of icons.
  • Solaris (1972) - based on the science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem and Tarkovsky's personal response to what he considered the coldness of Kubrick's 2001.
  • Mirror[?] (1975) - This is a roughly autobiographical reconstruction of key scenes in Tarkovsky's life.
  • Stalker[?] (1979) - based very loosely on the novel `A Roadside Picnic' by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.
  • Tempo di Viaggio/Italian Journey[?] (1982) - a documentary made for Italian television while scouting locations for Nostalghia[?].
  • Nostalghia[?] (1983) - A Russian historian retraces the footsteps of one of his countrymen in Italy two hundred years before and his encounter with a mentally disturbed man in the present that rekindles a sense of homesickness.
  • The Sacrifice[?] (1986) - The film is about the prospect of nuclear annihilation and man's spiritual response to this and other dilemmas set in counterpoint to a minor fable of failed adultery.



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