A new comprehensive biography *“Andrei Tarkovsky: Dreams and Reality of Home” *has come out in Russia.
This is the first systematically presented biography of the director, published in his homeland.
For the first time, the cinema of Tarkovsky is considered in the context of national cinema, and comparatively presented along with other notable Russian auteurs, such as Andrei Koncvhalovsky and Vasili Shukshin.
Turning to the life and works of Tarkovsky, the author puts at the center of the narrative concept of home – in a narrow and very broad, cultural sense. More about the biography and its author, Russian cultural anthropologist and film historian, Viktor Filimonov, can be found here
Thanks for that. Will there be a version in English? Dreams and Reality of Home- yes that sounds pretty central as themes. The Tarkovsky book edited by Nathan Dunne, with a range of essays, was useful in comparing the earlier film Zoia (now on mubi) with Mirror.
Thanks, Kenji! Working on it. :) The book came out last week with 5000 copies imprint. Has been selling so well, that the publisher has ordered another imprint. Marina Tarkovskaya, Andrei’s sister, was a great help in getting the book done and has provided some unique archival materials. It’s too soon to talk about an Eng version of the book, but we’ll see what we can do about it, with Ms. Tarkovskaya’s help, or through other avenues. :)
“Oskolki Zerkala” or “Splinters of the Mirror” consists of seventy short stories that depict the lives of three generations of the Tarkovsky family. The author, Marina Arsenievna Tarkovskaya had begun working on the book after death of her mother, father, and the brother, Andrei. It took her almost ten years to finish it. She wanted to share with the world the typical and incredible story of one family and the times they lived through, the family that had given to its country two great artists, a poet and a film director. Marina is the only surviving eye-witness, participant, and the keeper of the family events. Her book is a testimonial family chronicle that captured and saved the time passed. Her memories of the simple and at the first sight, not-significant things, personal, intimate, cheerful, or bitter-sweet and even tragic, suddenly connected and became stories of her most beloved and close relatives’ destiny. Marina Tarkovskaya explains the title of the book, “Pieces of broken mirror may hurt when you take them in your hands and try to put together but how differently would you complete the mirror that reflects lives of my closest relatives?”
There are many interesting characters that Marina brought back to life in her book. Among them her grand-parents, parents, their friends, many of whom were the famous and talented figures of Russian culture and Art. Many pages of the book are dedicated to Marina’s and Andrei’s mother, Maria Ivanovna Veshnyakova-Tarkovskaya who alone brought up Andrei and Marina after she and Arseny Tarkovsky went their separate ways. Marina calls her and Andrei’s mother an incredible person whose uniqueness was clearly seen by everybody who had known her even briefly. Marina loved, admired, and deeply respected both her parents, and describing their relationship, she comes to conclusion that they had cared great deal of each other but “they could not be together and to be apart did not work out, either”
The most important aspects of the book, though, are the memories of two brightest and tragic personalities, Marina’s father and brother, Arseny and Andrei Tarkovsky, of their mutual love and respect for each other’s work, and the complicated relationship between the father and son.
Marina Tarkovskaya published in her book some poems written by her father, Arseny Tarkovsky, and 132 photographs from the family albums. According to Marina, some of the pictures that had been taken by the friend of her parents, Lev Gornung, had become the inspiration and the impulse for Andrei to make the film “Zerkalo”, his most personal reflections on the story of his family and his country.
@Raphaela: Thank you for taking the time to give such a full account of Marina Tarkovskaya’s work, as she has done a monumental job preserving her family’s history. As I said above, she was instrumental in publishing the bio, and will give a formal presentation in Moscow in the next few weeks, from what I just learned. LIZUNA will correct me if I’m wrong. :)
Splinters of the Mirror sounds essential reading, i would be very interested in learning a lot more about the family and getting a better understanding of Mirror (especially) along the way.
i would love to appreciate Arseny Tarkovsky’s poems in the original Russian; no doubt a lot is lost in translation, but still impressive..
Everything in the world was different,
Even the simplest things – the jug, the basin –
When stratified and solid water
Stood between us, like a guard.
We were led to who knows where.
Before us opened up, in mirage,
Towns constructed out of wonder,
Mint leaves spread themselves beneath our feet,
Birds came on the journey with us,
Fish leapt in greeting from the river,
And the sky unfurled above…
While behind us all the time went fate,
A madman brandishing a razor.
Some of his poems in EnglishAnd here, by clicking on the title of a verse you can hear Arseny Tarkovsky read his poems
Thanks. I’ve just been looking some up, have read some before, but the visuals in Mirror are so strong that maybe concentration on the spoken word can be distracted. And that goes for the dialogue too; one reason why further viewings tend to be rewarding. Mirror has hidden depths to explore each time, but always has a wonderful mystery. I like Osip Mandelstam’s poems too
For us, all that’s left is kisses
tattered as the little bees
that die when they leave the hive.
But lay to your heart my rough gift,
this unlovely dry necklace of dead bees
that once made a sun out of honey.
I always struggle with the Eng. translations of Russian poetry. Understandably.
The poetry of the, so called,“Silver Age” is incredibly philosophical and deep. And the younger generation, the one that Tarkovsky-father was a part of, had not only lived through the terror, but through WWII. Which gave them even more poignant perspective. To say that Andrei was deeply influenced by his father’s poetry would be a poor understatement. His entire body of work is a dialog, of sorts, with his father. A dialog precisely because he is giving his father a true audible voice in his films.
BTW, here is an interesting story about Marina Tsvetaeva and Arseny Tarkovsky having to do with her poetic reply to his poem “Table is set for six…” , which turned out to be her last poem.