Andrei Tarkovsky Talks About....
This compilation was created by Aina Bellis and Lars-Olof Löthwall
for the Swedish Film Institute's English Programme Booklet for Offret.
Reproduced here with Lars-Olof's kind permission.
|His First Encounter with Film-Making
|Some film-makers know from the start that cinema is the
right thing for them. I had doubts, had little feeling for it. I knew
there were major technical aspects but had not understood that cinema
is a means of expression like poetry, music, or literature. Even after
shooting Ivan's Childhood I had not understood the director's role.
Only later did I realize that cinema gives you the possibility of
achieving spiritual essence.
|Cinema is based on two types of directors who make two
different types of films: those who imitate the world they live in, and
those who create their own world - the poets in cinema. And I believe
only the poets will go down in the history of cinema, like Bresson,
Dovsjenko, Mizoguchi, Bergman, Bunuel, Kurosawa.
|I think cinema is the only art that operates within the
concept of temporality. Not because of its developing in time; there
are also other art forms that do so: ballet, music, theatre. I mean
`time' in he literal sense of the word. What is a take, from the moment
we say `action' till the moment we say `stop'? It is the fixing of
reality, the essence of time, a way of preserving time which allow to
roll and unroll it forever. No other form of art can do that.
Therefore, cinema is a mosaic made of time.
|There is always water in my films. I like water, especially
brooks. The sea is too vast. I don't fear it, it is just monotonous. In
nature, I like smaller things. Microcosm, not macrocosm; limited
surfaces. I love the Japanese attitude to nature. They concentrate on a
confined space reflecting the infinite. Water is a mysterious element
due to its monocular structure. And it is very cinegenic; it transmits
movement, depth, changes. Nothing is more beautiful than water.
|Colour films seemed more realistic at their dawn but now
they are in a blind alley. Colour cinema is a great mistake. All forms
of art aim at truth and then seek a generalization, a model idea. But
truth in life does not correspond to truth in art. Colour is part of
our physiological and psychological perception of the external world.
We live in a coloured world, but don't realize that unless something
makes us aware of it. We don't think of colour while looking at this
coloured world. But when shooting a colour scene we organize it and
close it up in a frame that we force upon the audience and we give them
thousands of such colour postcards. To me, black and white is more
expressive and realistic because it does not distract the spectator but
but enables him to concentrate on the essence of the film. I think
colour made the cinematographic art more false, and less true.
|Film-making as a Professions, and as a Way of Life
|I enjoy inventing my films - writing the script, creating
the scenes, looking for locations. But the shooting is not interesting.
Once all has been thought out you have to shape it into a film
technically, and that is boring. I never managed to separate my life
from my films, and I have always had to make crucial choices. Many
directors manage to live one way and express other ideas in their work;
they are able to split their conscience. I am not. To me cinema is not
just a job. It's my life.
|I never think of the audience's attitudes. It is difficult
to be in their shoes; it's useless and unpleasant. Some people try to
predict the future success of a film. I am not one of those. The best
attitude towards the audience is to remain oneself, to use a personal
language they will understand. Poets and authors do not try to be
liked, they do not know how to please. They know the public will accept