At the Castle Doors
An incident has compelled the author to review seven films by Andrei
Tarkovsky as seven chapters of a series. The self-defense of [the planet]
Solaris has reminded the author of an experiment by two American
psychologists. LSD was given to a large group of patients.
5% felt a flare of an internal light such as feelings of
love or beauty can cause sometimes. 15% felt a strong sense of guilt for
their actions. The rest (about 80%) saw something like a television
advertising, bright images of things. The characters from the film
Solaris belong to the second group, with a different
degree of sensitivity to conscience torments. Majority of
Tarkovsky's viewers comes precisely from this second group.
Rublov's icons enchant those who would get in the first 5% of the
American experiment. These icons have also struck Tarkovsky, but he
was able to see and to show the inner world only of the people from the
second group. Tarkovsky wanders around the secret of God and holiness
like Joseph K. in Kafka's novel The Castle.
Beginning with Stalker Tarkovsky's
heroes are yurodivyie — blessed, holy fools. Compared to the
great saints they stop only on the threshold of holiness.
In their denial of the commonplace they are nevertheless closer to it
than holiness which reaches so high that one can neither approach
it nor imagine the kind of colors needed to depict it.
thinker of the early 20th century N. Fedorov has defined Russian
state order as an autocracy limited by the institution of the yurodivyi.
Judging by the films Rain Man and Forrest Gump,
this institution was necessary in America too. Even if there was an
influence of Tarkovsky's last films, something has inspired the
American producers in their native land. God gives the "idiots"
an irresistible charm. And Andrei Tarkovsky felt it: he has made
a yurodivyi a guide to the Castle. But in front of the Castle's
closed gates his work stops.
(summary by Vladimir Baranov/transl. by Vladimir Baranov and Jan Bielawski)