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Great Talent Ahead of Time - Andrei Tarkovsky's Imprint on Russian and World Cinema
February 25, 2017 09:29


December 29, 2016 marked the 30th anniversary since the death of the great Soviet film director Andrei Tarkovsky. His works occupy a separate niche in the history of the national cinema - being incredibly talented, he managed to overtake the time, hence his works were often misunderstood by his contemporaries, and gained relevance and popularity much later.
Andrei Tarkovsky was an extraordinary person in every sense of the word. "An Ordinary Genius" of world scale, he was underestimated by his compatriots in his lifetime. Authorities raised obstacles on his way to the screen and demanded him to make changes in his films. But despite the fact, Andrei Tarkovsky has left unique heritage, which still stirs controversy among critics and film-lovers.
What is the fundamental difference between Tarkovsky's works and most of other films? In his frame each object is living and changing, whereas the depth and philosophicity are infused with the poetic and lyrical. In his own, touching and heartfelt cinematic language Andrei Tarkovsky  tells about different things - the attraction of home, the complexity and beauty of childhood, the holiness and cruelty of history, and the mysteries and beauty of the Earth.
When a beginning film director yet, he gained world-wide fame with his very first full-length film, Ivan's Childhood. Having taken lots o prestigious film awards, including the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival, it paved the way for Andrei Tarkovsky and gave him an opportunity to work on new projects.
His next work - Andrei Rublev - owritten with Andrei Konchalovsky, became a classic of world cinema. Solaris and Nostalgia were awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. Stalker and The Mirror fell under the gold reserves of the world cinema. Among the admirers of Tarkovsky's works there were world cinema legends, such as Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini.
However, there was another side to the coin. Andrei Tarkovsky was a semiprohibited film director  in the Soviet Union, while his works were a phenomenon close to scandalous. The fact that his works were not - and could not be - familiar to mainstream audience in his homeland, was experienced by the film director as a deep emotional trauma. In 1984, Andrei Rublev decided not to return from Italy back to the USSR.
His last film, The Sacrifice, was made in Europe, whilst the director was terribly ill and dying of lung cancer. The masterpiee took the Grand Prix at Cannes, the prize of the British Academy wrd, and many others. At the peak of his professional triumph, having undergone a long course of chemotherapy and struggling to hold on to life, Andrei Tarkovsky died in Paris on December 29, 1986.
Some believe that he anticipated his untimely death - in the film Solaris you can see a calendar opened on the page of December 29. As a matter of fact Andrei Tarkovsky foresaw many other important things as well, such as the murder of Olaf Palme, the Chernobyl disaster and even his own deathly sickness. However, despite all their seriousness and earnest insights, his films imply that it is high time for the world to learn hope, light and harmony from the art.
Andrei Tarkovsky will remain an ambiguous figure. His works are  perceived differently by all -  with admiration by some viewers, and  with misunderstanding by others. But it is safe to say one thing: Tarkovsky's creativity is multifaceted. His films make you think and contemplate, debate and ponder in silence.
Throughout all the trials he had, in spite of anything and anybody, Andrei Tarkovsky has given us a few great works, which are still watched in the same breath.

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Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Andrei Tarkovsky Russian Film Directors Russian Cinema   

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