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.
Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with full intellect right from his birth he decides at his third birthday not to grow up ... See full summary »
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 »
In the first scene, in which stutterer Yuri Zhary is being hypnotized, a shadow of the boom mic is prominently visible on the wall behind him. However, because this is clearly supposed to be a recreation of a TV broadcast, it appears to be a intentional error. 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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Has there ever been a more visually beautiful film than this one? That's a rhetorical question... one that only viewing it can answer.
To try to follow it as an ordinary narrative is to lose its poetic ambience...I let it wash over me like glorious music. We are so accustomed to "and then...and then" that our minds can follow as logic, that we tend to dismiss the affect that the visual image itself can have on our minds, hearts and souls. Tarkovsky is a poet...and for me this is his richest, most satisfying film of all. Included are film clips from WW 2, the Spanish Civil War, poetry by the director's father.
It does help to know that the same actress (Margarita Terekhova) plays the dying man's wife and his mother...as he allows his memory to shift over his life.
The only other director I can think of who understands the visual language of film and its significance as beautifully as Tarkovsky is Terence Malick.
Zerkalo is haunting and uplifting even as we know the "hero" is dying. Death, after all, is an intrinsic part of life.
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