This book plays out very much like Tarkovsky's films a bit long winded, and overlong, BUT the man's mind and films are so unique, interesting and visually stunning that your are forced to have some sort of reaction, so this is necessary reading for anyone who wants to be a film maker or even a film critic. Get into the mind of a very deep man (even if it's sometimes confusing, stick with it and you can't help but be influenced by the way he looks at the world)
This extraordinary book is not just about filmmaking, it's about all art...about life, faith, inner exploration, and the Russian soul. It contains exquisite poetry, mostly written by Tarkovsky's father, Arseny Tarkovsky, and detailed descriptions of the making of several of his films, as well as photos from them that show the eerie, mystical, and incredible beauty of his work. Tarkovsky is master of making us see the wonder of all creation in the most mundane subjects. He brings us one step closer in our journey toward the light through his art. From page 43: "The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as an example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good".
SCULPTING IN TIME, gives the reader an intimate invitation into the mind of filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky. In this single, slim volume, Tarkovsky gives penetrating insight into his conceptualization of cinema as an art form. Although he does not refer to all of his films, one finds detailed information concerning his approach to cinematic form and why his films are so different and affecting. Tarkovksy, speculates on the role of the artist in today's world. He points the direction that others who may want to enter into the cinematic arts should go. Most importantly, one gets an engrossing look at the aspects of the cinema that define it as an artform outside of literature, painting, and the theatre. It is a profound book and one that you will find yourself re-reading again and again. It is to be cherished.
Tarkovsky, like Bresson, was privileged a rare clarity of thought about his cinematic tools, as if they were as solid and tangible as a pair of pliers. He wrote them down in this short book, and it stands there proud and bigger than the pages which hold it. When it comes to observing and creating visual arts, I swear by this book. We are privileged to have this.