The film combines clips from Tarkovsky’s films with footage of Tarkovsky on the set of his last film The Sacrifice and on his deathbed, during the final stage of his battle with cancer. The film mostly relies on images, with only sparse commentary, and concentrates mainly on giving insight into Tarkovsky’s work and philosophy and on exploring the intersections between his private life and his work. The film starts with a scene from Tarkovsky first film Ivan’s Childhood and ends with a parallel scene from his last film The Sacrifice. It shows the reunion of Tarkovsky with his son Andrei Jr., who had been allowed to leave the Soviet Union only after Tarkovsky was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Apart from Andrei Tarkovsky himself the film shows, among others, his second wife Larisa Tarkovskaya, his son Andrei Jr., the editor of the film The Sacrifice Michal Leszczylowski, the French actress Valérie Mairesse, the Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist and the Russian actress Margarita Terekhova.
Although not widely distributed, the film received very positive reviews. Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader writes that One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich is “the best single piece of Tarkovsky criticism I know of, clarifying the overall coherence of his oeuvre while leaving all the principal mysteries in the films intact.” whereas J. Hoberman of the Village Voice called the film “a brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky”.
The film was first shown on the Franco-German TV channel Arte on 17 May 2000. The film was screened at the 2000 Telluride Film Festival, the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2000 San Francisco International Film Festival, the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2001 Doubletake Documentary Film Festival.The film was also screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival in 2000 and won the best documentary award. —wikipedia
“I write to you from a far-off country…”
Information regarding the early life of Chris Marker, photographer, filmmaker, videographer, poet, journalist, multimedia/installation artist, designer, and world traveler, is scarce and conflicting. The year to which his movies, videos, and multimedia projects are dated depends on which source you use, and in which country you live. Personal data is in a state of complete disarray: Derek Malcolm, writing about ¡Cuba Sí! (1961) for The Guardian, reports that Marker was born in Mongolia, of aristocratic descent. Geoff Andrew of Time Out London isn’t sure (Andrew, 146), and most sources, along with the Internet Movie Database, use the location I’ve listed above as his place of birth. Some say his father was an American soldier, others that he (Marker) was a paratrooper in the Second World War. Still others, that he comes to us from an alien planet. Or the future. Throughout his career, he has rarely been interviewed, and even more rarely… read more
Despite being a huge fan of Marker and Tarkovsky, I didn't see this until now. Who else but Marker could take the pieces of another filmmaker's oeuvre (and what amazing raw material) and with interpolation of video and narration, create an entirely new and illuminating context? I found myself moved to tears as if I was seeing Tarkovsky's films again for the first time. Marker was the greatest of all editors.
Marker pays homage to one of the greatest filmmakers in Russia, Andrei Tarkovsky. In this free-form documentary, we intuitively explore Tarkovsky's techniques in film, philosophical views on life, and the subtext within all his films. It shows one of the best examples of using film criticism and providing an analysis of a master. Marker goes into the mind of an enigma, defining Tarkovsky's stylistic idiosyncrasies.
It appears difficult for Marker to present a singular document on Tarkovsky’s cinema, following Sokurov’s extensive use of analogous footage in his Moscow Elegy a decade prior. Yet Marker delves even deeper into Tarkovsky’s personal philosophy than perhaps Sokurov’s broad, oniric monument: by intuitively making direct parallels between scenes from Tarkovsky’s life to those of his films, Marker adds immeasurable breadth to his entire oeuvre, through its metaphysical deconstruction herein. Henceforth a rich, insightful commentary.