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Andrey Tarkovsky, the genius of modern Russian cinema—hailed by Ingmar Bergman as “the most important director of our time”—died an exile in Paris in. Tarkovsky sets down his thoughts and his memories, revealing for the first time the original inspirations for his extraordinary films. Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema () by Andrei Tarkovsky translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair (, University of Texas Press).

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In them, a generous use of natural elements — wind, water, fire — and the practice of long, slow takes came together to create imagery that continues to enthrall and enchant film buffs all over the world.

They develop in interaction with each other, through the inner conflict inherent in the poetic logic of their sequence in the screenplay: And Lord, how true The contrasts in our film — cuts from dreams to reality, or, conversely, from the last scene in the crypt to victory day in Tarkovksy — seemed to many to be inadmissible. The Fyodor Dostoyevsky of film making. The Best Books of Now, more than twenty years later, I am firmly convinced of one anxrei not that it can be analysed: I saw your earlier films, Ivan’s Childhood and Audrey Rublyov.

For him,the essential element of cinema is also observation, the experience of the world.

Sculpting in Time

The book’s main statement about the nature of cinema is summarized in the statement, “The dominant, all-powerful factor of the film image is rhythmexpressing the course of time within the frame.

He finds meticulous plans abstract and restricting on the imagination so one should merely approach the scene with an open mind. It will destroy the very conception of the film.

Since Ivan’s Childhood won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival inthe visionary quality and totally original and haunting imagery of Tarkovsky’s films have captivated serious movie audiences all over the world, who see in his work a continuation of the great literary traditions of nineteenth-century Russia.


He discusses their history and his methods of work, he explores the many problems of visual creativity, and he sets forth the deeply autobiographical content of part of his oeuvre-most fascinatingly in The Mirror and Nostalgia. In Sculpting in Time, he has left his artistic testament, a remarkable revelation of both his life and work.

Tarkovsky, who died in exile inwas considered by some Western film critics to be one of Russia’s foremost latter-day filmmakers. His protest — furious, uncompromising and harsh — is expressed above all in the sensuous texture of the film, and is emotionally infectious.

The Sacrifice, was made in Sweden in It was made up of study at the Institute of Cinematography, work on a short film for my diploma, and then eight months’ work on my lirst feature film.

Accustomed to films as story-line, action, characters and the usual “happy ending”, the audience looks for these things in Tarkovsky’s films, and often enough leaves disappointed.

Sculpting in Time : Reflections on the Cinema

Io cado in uno stato tarkovsy rabbia e di disperazione quando sento domande del genere. It is all the more important to emphasise this point now, when the time has come for hterature to be separated, once and for all, fiom cinema.

It is obvious that art cannot teach anyone anything, since in four thousand years humanity has learnt nothing at all. Even when he was not present, however, there had to be an awareness of the life lived by his spirit; one had to breathe the atmosphere which informed his relations with the world. sculptinb

Pushkin believed the poet had the gift of prophecy. Ivan turned out to be a character of this kind. The artistic image is always a metonym, where one thing is substituted for another, the smaller for the greater. The beginning Chapter II: All I want to say is that although in the end all art is tendentious, that even style is committed, the same 50 tendency can either be swallowed up in the fathomless layers of artistic images which give it form, or it can be overstated as a poster, as it is in Raphael’s Sistine Madonna.


The actors had to play the parts of characters they understood, essentially subject to the same feeling as people living now. Do write and tell me please. For happiness is an abstract, moral concept.

Full text of “Andrei Tarkovsky – Sculpting In Time”

As we know, mise en scene is a design made up of the disposition of the actors in relation to each other and to the setting. I was interested in something else: Science is empirical, whereas the conception of images is governed by the dynamic of revelation. And consequently, society is destroyed. It is as if there were certain immutable parameters to define the masterpiece and single it out from among surrounding phenomena. Csulpting course one may say of a child, too, that he is a philosopher, but only in sculptkng very relative sense.

The logic of the characters’ movements, the feeling, the energy — how tangible it all was. Obviously it is important that these should not put the audience off by being overcomplex. Look at the finale of Dostoievsky’s The Idiot. And the beautiful and the finished in art — what is proper to the masterpiece — I see wherever it becomes impossible to single out or prefer any one element, either of content or of form, without detriment to the whole.

A worker in a Leningrad factory, an evening class student, wrote: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.