I’ve mentioned both Andrei Tarkovsky and Chris Marker and my admiration for the work of both filmmakers before, so I have to say, it was pretty exciting for me to find some clips online from Marker’s documentary about Tarkovsky, One Day In The Life Of Andrei Arsenevich. Here’s one:
Marker filmed the documentary based around the filming of Tarkovsky’s last film, the Ingmar Bergman-approved The Sacrifice, and it actually includes death bed interviews with the Russian director as he was in the final stages of his battle with lung cancer (which he most likely contracted while filming Stalker several years earlier in and around Chernobyl.
Tarkovsky was a director who let the moving images of his stories dictate his filmmaking, and whose plots tended to drift into poetry and the hidden ghosts dancing through the fire and water motifs (which is more natural and not as annoying as, say, John Woo and the fucking doves) of his subconscious tended to wander about the landscapes he so expertly conveyed. I can see a lot of similarities, not just with Bergman, who Tarkovsky greatly admired, but also with filmmakers still operating today, like Béla Tarr. Of Tarkovsky, Bergman said, “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”
from Tarkovsky’s first feature, Ivan’s Childhood.
And Tarkovsky’s films have always looked to me as if they were filmed on location inside of dreams. They’re not always pretty, but they’re not exactly ugly either. They don’t conform. Time doesn’t always flow as you think it should. Things happen, whether you understand the reasons or not, and sometimes events can get away from you.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go put his book, Sculpting In Time, on my Christmas list.