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Mirror [DVD]

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051H0JDK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,308 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


'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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By René Daumal on 4 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD
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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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD
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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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By "shusd" on 16 Aug. 2002
Format: DVD
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nora Gluckmann on 9 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
MIRROR- Tarkovsky (DVD)
A magnific masterpiece

Mirror is my favorite film, the best one I have ever seen, the one I like more. Interior richness, amounts of beauty and human quality have no limits. In this masterpiece, you find not only new and extraordinary cinema but poetry, painting, imagination, wonderful images and episodes.
Tarkovsky wanted to build a portrait of himself (as seen in a MIRROR) with his own fantasy, his dreams, some memories, some of his father's poems, episodes of life with his mother and his wife (the same artist),his house - wooden furniture and old lace curtains moved by the wind- his beloved country -green and wide and sunny- its landscapes and colors, some historical facts: an extraordinary refection of his intimate self.
No a plot, not a linear plan to be followed, not a more or less hidden idea to be found.
You are supposed to relax and enjoy it....and perhaps later, dream: if you were in the place of Andrei Tarkovsky and making a film about yourself, your life, your memories, your country landscapes, what images and what episodes, which colors, would you use !
Don't miss it. This film is an unforgettable experience, richer and deeper every time you see it and as time goes by.
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