The Andrei Tarkovsky Companion 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Series of three documentaries on Andrei Tarkovsky - generally regarded as the most important and influential filmmaker of the post-war Soviet era in Russia and one of the greatest in the history of cinema. Tarkovsky's life and career is documented in clips of his work, in interview clips with the man himself and in comment from his peers and friends. The first feature 'Moscow Elegy' is a highly emotional and impassioned paean to his mentor and friend by fellow filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark, Mother and Son). 'One Day In The Life Of Andrei Arsenovitch' is by Chris Marker - another disciple of Tarkovsky, and includes some of the last footage of the man, shot on the set of one of his last films and in the editing process when Tarkovsky was gravely ill. The final feature in this suite is 'Tempo Di Viaggio' a documentary made by Tarkovsky himself in the process of researching his second last film, 'Nostalgia'. Together with his Italian screenplay co-writer Tonino Guerra, the Russian master researches locations and hammers out the screenplay in a uniquely candid look behind the scenes at the artists' process.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The first film is Moscow Elegy, by another great Russian director, Alexander Sokurov, to whom Tarkovsky was a mentor. This is a very personal tribute, consisting of footage and photographs of Tarkovsky's life and clips from his films. Unfortunately, for no reason that I can see, Sokurov appears to have taped much of it from TV, because the visual quality is poor and much that should be in colour, including ironically some clips from Tempo di Viaggio in this same DVD set, is in black-and-white. I admire most of Sokurov's films that I have seen, but cannot understand why Moscow Elegy is put together the way it is. The material itself is of course interesting, but the presentation is most odd.
The second film is Chris Marker's One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevitch. Marker is an acclaimed French documentary maker (I particularly recall his remarkable Sans Soleil from the 1980s) and this film consists largely of Tarkovsky directing The Sacrifice, particularly the famous penultimate shot, lasting several minutes, of the burning house, the shot where the camera jammed at the first attempt so that the house had to be rebuilt. The babel of languages (Russian, English, Swedish, etc.) merely added to the confusion, but the director knew exactly what he wanted and through sheer single-minded intensity achieved what for me is one of the greatest masterpieces of cinema. Tarkovsky was already ill with lung cancer, and Marker's film also shows him doing the final edit of The Sacrifice from his hospital bed in Paris.
Finally, as mentioned above, there is Tempo di Viaggio, directed by Tarkovsky himself along with his Italian screenwriter (on Nostalghia) Tonino Guerra. This is clearly a carefully-worked-out production, in which Tarkovsky is seen visiting various possible locations in Italy for the filming of Nostalghia and being unimpressed by all of them, except for a particular room in a rundown hotel in a small village. Guerra asks Tarkovsky various questions (clearly pre-planned) ostensibly from students about his views on cinema, so that the Russian can hold forth about how the aspiring film-maker must allow him/herself to be controlled by his/her vocation.
Overall, some great material for the Tarkovsky-buff, but it's a pity about the presentation of Moscow Elegy.