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.
Tarkovsky mixes flash-backs, 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
To create the effect of the wind making waves through the crops in the field outside the cabin in the woods, Tarkovsky had two helicopters landed behind the camera and would switch on the rotors when he wanted the wind to start. 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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It's not easy to make such judgments, but this is my favorite film. A personal choice, for sure, but what MIRROR achieves is the height of poetry and literature. Its final moment, if it works for you (and I can imagine it wouldn't for all), is a success of the "method of indirection" sought by poetry. Its effect is cumulative and devastating.
People often stress the difficulty of this film, but my only answer is to allow it to wash over you and allow it to have its effect. The first time I saw it, I was amazed, but a little baffled. The second time I cried. Each time since then I've teared up, if not actually wept. Its presentation, in its last shots, of the totality of the human experience, combined with the Bach's St John Passion, crushes me every time. And I'm not even Russian. Nor am I religious--this is the closest I get to religion. You just have to be human to understand MIRROR. This is the way of all Tarkovsky.
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