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Andrei Tarkovsky

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I've yet to see The Sacrifice, but his first 6 films are all all arguable masterpieces, and should be considered for the Canon, no?



Also, a very accessible topic, more than you would think. Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Rublev (the 180 minute that Tarkovsky PREFERS to the criterion transfer), Solaris, Mirror, and Stalker are all available on youtube in high quality, LEGALLY. Okay, Stalker is not in good quality, but I'm not sure where to find a high quality version of that film, even in physical format.



Mirror is the most beautiful film I've seen, but Andrei Rublev might make for better discussion about art and religion, as would the themes in Stalker.

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he's the only filmmaker i know of with his entire filmography on TSPDT's top 1000 films list, and deservedly so.


if we're pitching only one to the canon i have to go with The Mirror. the most abstract, the most personal, (papa tarkovsky's poetry ties the film together) the most moving, the most Tarkovsky as both filmmaker and man, a loose autobiography, the story of a nation, and the universal story of man.

the mirror captures the haziness of memory so well it has me more nostalgic for Alexei's youth than my own ... and it brings one to such a peaceful state of mind .. you open with the contrast of beauty and a sorrow - muted just beneath the surface as the mother gazes out into the field - you get the deep wounds of family and the frivolity of chance interaction with a stranger, and on Anatoli Solonitsyn the doctor's way back to the road, that wind that comes, the stop and wait for it, man that can't be planned, that's life unfolding in the moment, jsut like the doctor meeting the mother ... and them by the time the mirror finishes it feels like you've seen a life, some of the events might not make immediate sense, it's a melding of dream and memory and poetry, but it comes together to create a whole, a life, and by the end when life comes full circle in the field where the film began i have come to terms with death for the remainder of the night (the lebowski does this too) he really had to fight for that one, mosfilm thought he'd lost it. (the soviets sure didn't luck out with manageable filmmakers) i am curious how much tarkovsky's original cut differed from what we got today.


stalker is dope though... that's my runner up tarkovsky nomination. such an obvious trick as the whole Wizard of Oz switch to color thing works such a fascinating effect in the film, paired with the unbearable anticipation for The Zone, the lush scenery, dead silences, and mystical properties- it creates something of a very real texture to The Zone, a tangible atmosphere, it feels lighter than air in there, you can finally breathe after all the muck and gloom of the police state, but there's no less tension than the city had -, meatgrinders and disembodied voices, much harder to see than rifles being trained on you - but some how it all seems like fate here, there is a noble spirituality to it all, nobody wants to be gunned down in a trainyard, but if the zone's traps claim me, so be it ... i love Stalker falling to his knees in the tall grass and feeling The Zone's earth, he gets crawled on by a bug, i always remember that, just giving himself to the zone, that kind of thing sticks with you ...


anyways, i'm just rambling, i'm with you on the suggestion

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glad you'd nominate the mirror! of my top 10 favorite movies of all time, that's probably the one i've seen the least and thought about the most -- isn't that pretty canon-worthy on its own?



maybe a vs episode of film geniuses at their most (?) abstract yet rewarding -- The Mirror vs Persona



Persona seems more popular though, so maybe don't do it ;-)

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There is such a massive body of analysis and criticism on Tarkovsky already; I prefer it when this podcast covers films which have a chance of not having everything said about them already.


That said, I love Stalker more than my children (I don't have children) and almost slapped a guy for admitting to watching half of Andrei Rublev on his fuckin cell phone.

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i don't think 'everything' that needs to be said has been -- i think recontextualizing Tarkovsky's themes in 2016 is really interesting -- or maybe if it has, a vs would be nice.


if they hadn't done a 400 blows episode, i could see 400 Blows vs Ivan's Childhood -- two feature debuts only a few years apart that follow the life of a child of about the same age -- Ivan makes 400 Blows look like Antoine had literally nothing wrong in his life though, they're just such different emotional journeys.




and the first time i watched Andrei Rublev was split in two parts on my 13' desktop, but then soon after watched on a larger screen and made it way better


my personal Tarkovsky rankings (minus The Sacrifice, and i've only seen Nostalghia and Solaris the one time)



Andrei Rublev



Ivan's Childhood




all of which are classix

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Stalker's one of my favorite films ever, so I'm definitely down for an episode or two about Tarkovsky.

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