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Mirror [DVD]

Anatoly Solonitsyn , Margarita Terekhova , Andrei Tarkovsky    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Anatoly Solonitsyn, Margarita Terekhova, Ignat Daniltsev
  • Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051H0JDK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,032 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

'Mirror' is celebrated Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's most autobiographical work in which he reflects upon his own childhood and the destiny of the Russian people. The film's many layers intertwine real life and family relationships - Tarkovsky's father, the poet Arseny Tarkovsky, reads his own poems on the soundtrack and Tarkovsky's mother appears as herself - with memories of childhood, dreams and nightmares. From the opening sequence of a boy being cured of a stammer by hypnotism, to a scene in a printing works which encapsulates the Stalinist era, Mirror has an extraordinary resonance and repays countless viewings.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Images to invoke emotion. 4 Nov 2006
This is definitely one of the best films I've seen by this director, and I'd just like to highlight one aspect of Tarkovsky's technique for those reviewers who found the film enjoyable but felt that the meaning of it went straight over their heads.

Tarkovsky doesn't use symbolism. He recognises that to attach symbolic meaning to what is seen limits it to only one interpretation - a representation of what is symbolised. Real world events don't have symbolic meaning in themselves, and so Tarkovsky uses pure images which invoke emotions in the viewer, as opposed to a framework of symbols which amount to some hidden meaning behind his films.

This is what makes his films such a joy to watch, all of the beautiful cinematography is there to be appreciated in itself. There is nothing superficial about this, quite the opposite. Tarkovsky's films are accessible to everyone (maybe he was a real communist!), not just aloof art house enthusiasts.

I would also highly recommend 'Stalker' to anyone who is getting into Tarkovsky.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, except for the translation 31 Mar 2004
By A Customer
I've watched my VHS copy of 'Mirror' around ten times and thought I 'knew' the film well enough. But the DVD is a revelation. The different film stocks and treatments -- washed-out colour, sepia, black & white, newsreel -- and Tarkovsky's pared-down images come through crisper than ever.
The sound is the real bonus, though. 'Mirror' mightn't have been recorded in 5:1 surround, but the new audio track reveals a side of the film I didn't even know existed: a deep, almost physiological soundtrack of eerie music and painstakingly placed effects that heightens the oneiric atmosphere by several notches and which was totally lost on VHS. I know there was cross-pollination of ideas between Tarkovsky and Kubrick, and aurally 'Mirror' now appears as a more subtle, subliminal version of '2001'. Unfortunately the closing (opening!) chorus from Bach's St John Passion still sounds distorted; but even that has its charm.
So I now have even greater admiration for what was already the finest film ever made about childhood and memory. Tarkovsky plays and plays on a handful of heart-stoppingly beautiful images, the sort we all have from our earliest youth -- luminous, sublime, terrifying, warming, sad -- the ones we can neither let go of nor fathom. The sense of desperately clinging to something that has lost all meaning is also brilliantly transferred into a series of acerbic, yet necessarily (for the time) oblique political comments. It is probably the most aesthetic film I have ever seen, in the sense of pure consciousness delighting in itself. (Do I pass the Tarkovsky-Fan Waffle Test?)
The only minor quibble is the new translation, which was done by a Russian, seemingly with a Russian-English dictionary.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Once said by Tarkovsky to be closest to his own vision of cinema Mirror is a loosely autobiographical reconstruction of key scenes in Tarkovsky's life with her mother's voice being heard and some of the most famous and delicate poems by Arseny Tarkovsky (his father) being recited, accompanied by Bach's sacred music and Pergolese's Stabat Mater.

Here we also find all the usual characteristics of his films, including memorable images of exceptional beauty and the metaphysical themes manifested by indoor rains, running water accompanied by fire, recurring dreams, rediscovered memories of childhood... and extremely long takes that take the viewer's experience of time and change it to give a new sense of time passing, time lost and the relationship of one moment in time to another.

It is hailed as one of Tarkovsky's most poetic films and it is indeed so, hence it should be viewed as one would read a poem, otherwise any attempt to follow the multiple threads of the narration and mapping them into a linear fashion in order to decode the message and comprehend the story would be at best overly demanding and at worst...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major 20th century artwork 25 Mar 2004
By Mr. G. C. Stone VINE VOICE
I've been back to this again recently after seeing Tarkovsky's work for the first time 20 years ago. Whereas I was a 'fan' the first time, I found this time round that I was profoundly affected and moved and impressed in a way that was far deeper than I could have expected. Don't expect a linear narrative. It's about Tarkovsky's childhood, and relationships with his mother and his wife. It's about Russia and a time. It's about extraordinary images and episodes, and sounds and feelings and sun and countryside and memory. Take what you want from it. This is one of the 20th century's major artists at his peak. You need to experience it and let it seep through you. At the same time, it's worth the entrance money for any number of individual images or any one of the individual episodes. With Tarkovsky, the older you get, the wider and deeper your understanding of the world, the more you get out of his work every time you return.

Or you might think it is overblown, boring, pretentious nonesense. I know which side I'm on.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have a good look ... 16 Aug 2002
By "shusd"
The Mirror is one of the most accessible Tarkovsky's films. I can recommend viewers to start with this film before progressing to other Tarkovsky's oeuvre.
Many critics consider Mirror Tarkovsky's autobiography, but it is unquestionably more than that. The film has visual beauty, social pathos, thoughts on the role of Russia in the Western civilization, existential questions and a place for magic in everyday life. I would not like to give detailed examples here: viewing will be less interesting, and part of the wonder of the film is to find these and many other clues on one's own. If the viewer goes on to other Tarkovsky's output, he will be rewarded by many shots and purvasive themes that "travel" from one film to the next and thus constitute undeniable signature of this director.
One very important point I would like to discuss is Tarkovsky's views on Russia. Perhaps, these can be the least understood by Western viewer who enjoy the film while still loosing historical and philosiphical context of Tarkovsky's thinking. Tarkovsky followed Pushkin's contention that Russia played a historical role in the destiny of Western Civilization by stopping Tatar-Mongol aggression from reaching the Western Europe. While havindg stopped the aggression, Russia was broken under its force and had to develop its own unique way of life. In Tarkovsky's opinion, this unique role did not stop with and did not depend on the communist ideology prevailing in Russia at the time. This is a clue for a documentary part in the film where Russian soldiers try to hold a crowd of Maoist Chinese from crossing the Russian border.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece and my favourite film
I cannot recommend this film highly enough. I have watched it again and again through the years, and it has become one of my touchstones. Read more
Published on 18 July 2010 by Maud
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the Sistine Chapel : requires several viewings.
As the title suggests this is a film about reflections zigzagging across the decades of mid to late 20th century Russian history. Some are actual or imaginary, others filmographic. Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2010 by Room For A View
5.0 out of 5 stars The work of a master
Tarkovsky is not an "easy" director, but that doesn't mean his work is only for fans of "the avant-garde. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2010 by Curious reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not miss the plot
The points made by other reviewers about this film's nonlinearity and being much like poetry are, of course, valid. Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2009 by Oldthinker
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Film Ever Made
There has been millions of words spilt about this film and there is little I can add.

I notice that one reviewer on here said that it was over his head. Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2009 by Denis Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegiac masterpiece and an evocative example of best Soviet cinema
This is a wonderful and evocative film masterpiece, one of the best examples of Soviet cinematic tradition and personal creative genius of Andrey Tarkovsky. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2009 by Bulat R. Betalgiry
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent masterpiece
MIRROR- Tarkovsky (DVD)
A magnific masterpiece

Mirror is my favorite film, the best one I have ever seen, the one I like more. Read more
Published on 9 May 2009 by Nora Gluckmann
4.0 out of 5 stars Mirror on DVD
The DVD from Artificial Eye has, I think, a good transfer. I watched it on a projector and it was no problem. Some of the images are archive film and supposed to look weathered. Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2008 by MarkusG
1.0 out of 5 stars Self-indulgent and unbelievably boring.
I bought this film, having read the glowing reviews, for my Russian wife and her parents to watch and also because I have a particular interest in the soviet culture and people,... Read more
Published on 24 July 2008 by The Strolling Roan
5.0 out of 5 stars dream pinnacle of image making
mirror is beyond anything you have ever seen. in it tarkovsky breaks all the rules of filmaking including some no one even suspected existed and fashions a baffling, overwhelming,... Read more
Published on 18 Nov 2007 by S. Egan
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