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Andrei Tarkovsky Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (13) | Trivia (25) | Personal Quotes (18)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 4 April 1932Zavrazhe, Yurevetskiy rayon, Ivanovskaya Promyshlennaya oblast, RSFSR, USSR [now Ivanovskaya oblast, Russia]
Date of Death 29 December 1986Paris, France  (lung cancer)
Birth NameAndrey Arsenevich Tarkovskiy
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood (1962), which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. This resulted in high expectations for his second feature _Andrei Rublyov (1969)_, which was banned by the Soviet authorities until 1971. It was shown at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival at four o'clock in the morning on the last day, in order to prevent it from winning a prize - but it won one nonetheless, and was eventually distributed abroad partly to enable the authorities to save face. Solaris (1972), had an easier ride, being acclaimed by many in Europe and North America as the Soviet answer to Kubrick's '2001' (though Tarkovsky himself was never too fond of it), but he ran into official trouble again with The Mirror (1975), a dense, personal web of autobiographical memories with a radically innovative plot structure. Stalker (1979) had to be completely reshot on a dramatically reduced budget after an accident in the laboratory destroyed the first version, and after Nostalgia (1983), shot in Italy (with official approval), Tarkovsky defected to Europe. His last film, Sacrifice (1986) was shot in Sweden with many of Ingmar Bergman's regular collaborators, and won an almost unprecedented four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. He died of lung cancer at the end of the year.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Spouse (2)

Larisa Tarkovskaya (1964 - 29 December 1986) (his death) (1 child)
Irma Raush (1960 - 1963) (1 child)

Trade Mark (13)

Long takes
Dipping water
Wind
Lack of conventional dramatic structure
Spirituality and metaphysical themes
Dreams
Themes of self-reflection
Bells and candles as symbols
Levitation
Falling rain
Close-ups of debris and pools of water
Switches between full color and black/white
Frequently cast Anatoliy Solonitsyn in his films.

Trivia (25)

One of his teachers at VGIK was Mikhail Romm.
Friend of Sergei Parajanov, who was best friends with Mikhail Vartanov. All were graduates of the legendary Russian film school VGIK and met many times; the latter's Russian Academy Award-winning Parajanov: The Last Spring (1992) features a poetic chapter on the the friendship of Parajanov and Tarkovsky.
Father of Andriosha Tarkovsky, son of Arseniy Tarkovskiy.
Although it was his most widely seen film outside of the Soviet Union, he reportedly regarded Solaris (1972) as his least favorite of the films he directed.
He said that children understood his films better than adults.
Tarkovskiy was born in Zavrazhye village, Yuryevets area, Ivanovo Region, Russian SFSR, USSR. That place goes now by the address of Zavrazhye, Kadyy area, Kostroma Region, Russian Federation.
Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1982.
"Dear Andrei Retrospective" held at the 2007 Navarra International Documentary Film Festival with Marina Tarkovsky and Alexander Gordon in attendance.
Buried in Orthodox Graveyard for Russian Emigrés in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, France.
Profiled in "Films and Dreams: Tarkovsky, Bergman, Sokurov, Kubrick and Wong Kar-Wei" by Thurston Botz-Borsnstein. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008.
Ingmar Bergman hailed him as "the most important director of all time".
Wrote the Book 'Sculpting in Time'. In it he explains and discusses his views on cinema, cinema as an art, his own films and the use of poetry in his films.
He was an admirer of the films of Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman. Both older filmmakers later praised Tarkovsky's own films.
In almost every movie he made, there is a shot or a sound of water dripping.
Sergei Parajanov dedicated "Ashik Kerib" to Tarkovskiy.
His favorite filmmakers were Akira Kurosawa, Luis Buñuel, Ingmar Bergman, Robert Bresson, Kenji Mizoguchi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean Vigo, and Carl Theodor Dreyer.
His ten favorite films are; Journal d'un curé de campagne (1951), Mouchette (1967), Nattvardsgästerna (1962), Smultronstället (1957), Persona (1966), Nazarín (1959), City Lights (1931), Ugetsu Monogatari (1953), Shichinin no Samurai (1954) and Suna no Onna (1964).
At the Cannes film festival, he won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury three times (more than any other director) with Offret (1986), Nostalghia (1983) and Stalker (1979).
Tarkovsky, his wife and his long time collaborator Anatoli Solonitsyn all died from the very same type of lung cancer.
A minor planet, 3345 Tarkovskij, discovered by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina in 1982, has been named after him.
The inscription on his gravestone reads; 'To the man who saw the Angel'.
There is a controversy about whether he was assassinated by the KGB.
In Tarkovsky's last diary entry (15 December 1986), he wrote: 'But now I have no strength left - that is the problem'.
Studied Arabic at the Oriental Institute in Moscow but he dropped out.
Andrei Tarkovsky made 32 versions of The Mirror (1975) before he approved the final (33rd) cut.

Personal Quotes (18)

My purpose is to make films that will help people to live, even if they sometimes cause unhappiness.
Always with huge gratitude and pleasure I remember the films of Sergei Parajanov which I love very much. His way of thinking, his paradoxical, poetical . . . ability to love the beauty and the ability to be absolutely free within his own vision.
An artist never works under ideal conditions. If they existed, his work wouldn't exist, for the artist doesn't live in a vacuum. Some sort of pressure must exist. The artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn't look for harmony but would simply live in it. Art is born out of an ill-designed world. This is the issue in Andrei Rublev (1966).
[on directing] No "mise en scène" has the right to be repeated, just as no two personalities are ever the same. As soon as a "mise en scène" turns into a sign, a cliché, a concept (however original it may be), then the whole thing - characters, situation, psychology - become schematic and false.
The only condition of fighting for the right to create is faith in your own vocation, readiness to serve, and refusal to compromise.
Instead of attempting to capture these nuances, most unpretentious 'true-to-life' films not only ignore them but make a point of using sharp, overstated images which at best can only make the picture seem far-fetched. And I am all for cinema being as close as possible to life - even if on occasion we have failed to see how beautiful life really is.
So much, after all, remains in our thoughts and hearts as unrealized suggestion.
I think in fact that unless there is an organic link between the subjective impressions of the author and his objective representation of reality, he will not achieve even superficial credibility, let alone authenticity and inner truth.
Cinema is an unhappy art as it depends on the money. Not only because a film is very expensive but is then also marketed like cigarettes, etc.
The director's task is to recreate life, its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of the truth he has seen, even if not everyone finds that truth acceptable. Of course an artist can lose his way, but even his mistakes are interesting provided they are sincere. For they represent the reality of his inner life, of the peregrinations and struggle into which the external world has thrown him.
Movement is made more meaningful in the context of stillness.
The longer I work in cinema the more convinced I am that this domain of art is not ruled by any laws. I do not even attempt to find them. Everything is possible.
[On Andrey Rublyov] Andrei Rublev's art was a protest against the order that reigned at that time, against the blood, the betrayal, the oppression. Living at a terrifying time, he eventually arrives at the necessity of creating and carries through all of his life the idea of brotherhood, love for peace, a radiant worldview, and the idea of Rus's unification in the face of the Tatar yoke.
Cinema should capture life in the forms in which it exists and use images of life itself. It is the most realistic art form in terms of form. The form in which the cinematic shot exists should be a reflection of the forms of real life. The director has only to choose the moments he will capture and to construct a whole out of them.
The artist has a right to any fiction; that's why he's an artist. He does not misrepresent his depiction as the truth of life. He battles only for the truth of the problem and the truth of the conclusions which he presents. And the fact that art is based on fiction is proven loudly by its entire history, from its very sources.
I think that by concealing the shadowy aspects of life it is impossible to reveal deeply and fully what is beautiful in life. All the processes occurring in the world are born from the battle between old and new, between what has died and what is accumulating strength for life. And the cinema, like any other art, is mostly interested in this process: life in its movement.
[On Hamlet] Hamlet hesitates because he cannot triumph. How should he be? What can he do? He can't do anything. This will always be the way. But he must still say his word... And the result is a pile of corpses. And four captains carry him out. This is the meaning of Hamlet, not 'to be or not to be,' 'to live or die.' Nonsense! It has nothing to do with life and death. It has to do with the life of the human spirit, about the ability or inability to become acclimatized, about the responsibility of a great man and intellect before society.
Man needs Man.

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