A Brief Intro to Andrei Tarkovsky

I think I can honestly say that no other filmmaker’s approach inspires, humbles, or convicts me as much as Tarkovsky’s.
Andrei Tarkovsky

I’ve written about my frustration and fascination with Andrei Tarkovsky’s films elsewhere. I think I can honestly say that no other filmmaker’s approach inspires, humbles, or convicts me as much as Tarkovsky’s. And though his films are most certainly not the easiest to watch, due in large part to their glacial pace and cryptic dialog and imagery, they lend themselves incredibly well to reflection. I think I get more out of reflecting on a Tarkovsky film, even one I haven’t seen in years, than I do from watching any 5 given films.

I’m hoping to get Sculpting In Time, Tarkovsky’s book about his approach to film and art, soon, and when I do, I hope to write about my observations. In the meantime, though, there’s this excerpt from Sean Martin’s Tarkovsky pocket reference, which provides a short intro to the man’s life and an overview of the trouble that his films often raised with the Soviet authorities. (Thanks to GreenCine for the link.)

Actually, this entry is just an excuse for me to post this amazing quote from the man:

The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good.”

Would that more filmmakers, and other artists, approached their art from a similar viewpoint.