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  • Mirror [DVD] [1975] [US Import]
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Mirror [DVD] [1975] [US Import]

29 customer reviews

Price: £8.89
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Product details

  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305744114
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,749 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dara on 4 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. C. Stone VINE VOICE on 25 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD
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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56 of 62 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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42 of 47 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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