Tarkovsky: A ‘Nostalghia’

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Andrei Tarkovsky (April 4, 1932–December 29,1986)

April 4! Dates back to the pages of history as it is associated with one of the greatest Soviet and Russian film-maker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director, Andrei Tarkovsky.

Tarkovsky’s films include Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Mirror, and Stalker. He directed the first five of his seven feature films in the Soviet Union; his last two films, Nostalghia and The Sacrifice, were produced in Italy and Sweden, respectively.

He is known for his spiritual and metaphysical themes, long takes, lack of conventional dramatic structure, and distinctively authored use of cinematography. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest film-makers of all time.

Ingmar Bergman said of Tarkovsky: “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest (director), the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”

Tarkovsky’s first feature film was Ivan’s Childhood in 1962. He then directed Andrei Rublev in 1966, Solaris in 1972, Mirror in 1975 and Stalker in 1979. The documentary Voyage in Time was produced in Italy in 1982, as was Nostalghia in 1983. His last film The Sacrifice was produced in Sweden in 1986. Tarkovsky was personally involved in writing the screenplays for all his films, sometimes with a co-writer. Tarkovsky once said that a director who realizes somebody else’s screenplay without being involved in it becomes a mere illustrator, resulting in dead and monotonous films. A Book of 60 Photos, Instant Light, Tarkovsky Polaroids, taken by Tarkovsky in Russia and Italy between 1979 and 1984 was published in 2006. The collection was selected by Italian photographer Giovanni Chiaramonte and Tarkovsky’s son Andrey A Tarkovsky.

The genius film maker was conferred with many awards. At the Venice Film Festival he was awarded the Golden Lion for Ivan’s Childhood. At the Cannes Film Festival, he won the FIPRESCI prize four times, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury three times (more than any other director), and the Grand Prix Spécial du Jury twice. He was also nominated for the Palme d’Or two times. In 1987, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film to The Sacrifice.

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