Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note;... See full summary »
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
The director mixes flashbacks, historical footage and original poetry to illustrate the reminiscences of a dying man about his childhood during World War II, adolescence, and a painful divorce in his family. The story interweaves reflections about Russian history and society. Written by
Initially Tarkovsky considered Alla Demidova and Swedish actress Bibi Andersson for the role of the mother. In the end Margarita Terekhova was chosen. See more »
During the last scene when the grandmother is accompanying the two children through a field, and the camera backtracks itself into dark woods,on the lower right portion of screen, the gleaming camera tracks are visible for a few seconds. See more »
It seems to make me return to the place, poignantly dear to my heart, where my grandfathers house used to be in which i was born 40 years ago right on the dinner table. Each time i try to enter it, something prevents me from doing that. I see this dream again and again. And when i see those walls made of logs and the dark entrence, even in my dream i become aware that I'm only dreaming it. And the overwhelming joy is clouded by anticipation of awakening. At times something happens and i stop ...
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If you have experienced Mirror, and by experience I mean much more than just having watched it (the experience may take multiple viewings to achieve) then you will realise the futility of describing or reviewing this film much in the same way as the inadequacy of a second hand account of a mystical experience.
Tarkovsky was a mystic: although his religious beliefs are well known there is much less acknowledgement of his conception of God. For Tarkovsky God was everywhere and in everything, his (its) presence is felt in the rustling of leaves in the breeze, the burning of wood, the rain falling (and falling, and falling) on damp fields. Humans exist as a sea of melancholy within the infinite beauty and wonder of nature.
Mirror is the closest art has ever been to portraying the mystical experience of one spiritually sensitive individual. The second hand experience can never be as profound as that from your own being. But an odd and sad experience comes from watching Mirror, the belief that your own interpretation of the world will never be so deeply poetic or deep as Tarkovsky's, and the world you see on the cinema screen seems more vivid and alive than real life ever will.
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