Andrei Tarkovsky: The Winding Quest by Peter Green

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By Peter Green

A survey of the paintings of Andrei Tarkovsky, the Russian film-maker who lived from 1932-1986. it's a severe exam of his motion pictures within the mild of his personal writings and existence, his aesthetics of movie, his conception of time in cinematography and an try and understand his imaginative and prescient. the movies which are tested are: "Ivan's Childhood", "The Mirror" and "Andrei Rublyov". The e-book is to be released at the anniversary of Tarkovsky's beginning in April 1992.

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In terms of its female roles, the only alternative the film offers is between a heathen seductress and a silent inilocent. Jhe fact that the Grand Prince and his younger brother are played by the same actor might be seen as an early example of Tarkovsky's fondness for merging identities. But for much of the time they ap­ pear in each other's absence and there is no real transposition of character or even confusion as to their identities. Underlying the story and serving to integrate the material in other directions are the historic parallels the director draws and the ques­ tions of artistic responsibility and belief that he examines.

In this film, too, Tarkovsky imposes his own distinctive charac­ erisati�n on the female roles. In Kelvin's feverish vision his mother _ IS Idealised as a young woman; and Harey, as the embodim ent of K�l ' s guilt-ridden memory of his wife, will never grow old, re­ tammg the age at which he had known her. Through her, this other­ _ worldly figure of a woman, he finds redemption. Th� implications of this story, in the nature of a fairy tale, are far­ r�aching. One of the quali�es of Tarkovsky's films is their ability to di�cuss fundamental questions of human existence, not in the form o_f rmpenetrable metaphysical tracts, but by means of striking , often su�ple parables that tread a narrow path between fairy tale and philosophy.

You used to be good looking', Berton is told by the unidentified dark­ haired woman who sits watching the film with him, reminding one, Andrei Tarkovsky 70 like Berton's thinning hair, of the passage of time. Gibarian's film is in the nature of a farewell. By the time Kelvin arrives and views it on the giant monitor, his former mentor has taken his life. Gibarian's resurrection on the screen is denied by his lifeless body lying under a plastic sheet in the refrigeration room. Kelvin's filmed record of home is like the little tin of earth with the living flower by the window in the space station.

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