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Mirror (Zerkalo) was made in 1974 and is the perfect illustration of Andrei Tarkovsky's genius as a director.
The mirror gives the viewer vivid images of incredible power and beauty and is an evocation of childhood that is without equal in cinema.
Tarkovsky said of Mirror:
"There are no entertaining moments in the film. I'm actually categorical against entertainment at the cinema, it's just as humiliating for the writer as for the audience."
Don't let this deter you, mirror may not be an easy movie to watch, but has a lot for the viewer to experience and enjoy.
A with all of Tarkovsky's films, it is nostalgic and about lost innocence and the film focuses on the senseless struggle to visit or hold back to the past.
Mirror is a gripping, beautiful and sometimes scary movie.
The mirror focuses on the regrets of a man who dies in the 1940s and the film constantly changes the time between his tough childhood in the war and today.
In fact, the viewer is never sure if they are in the present or in the past.
Mirror has no conventional plot; it is simply a collection of pictures composed.
The film effectively lets the viewer draw their conclusions from what they have seen and there is no direction from Tarkovsky at all.
In addition to flashbacks between childhood and the present, there are spaces of news films that act as the narrator's silent commentary on the events that affect his life.
Tarkovsky hides time by using the same actor to portray the two separate stages in the narrator's life.
For example, Margarita Terekhova gives a fantastic performance as both wife and mother of the narrator.
Trying to adapt these images to a coherent plot or universal conclusion is pointless, but it does not affect the film.
What makes the film so special is the film's visual language and visual splendor.
Andrei Tarkovsky's films are characterized by metaphic themes and Mirror is a perfect example.
"words cannot express a person's feelings".
However, images can and do appear in Mirror.
This is the true genius of the film and Tarkovsky's mastery of the camera is second to none.
The film features extremley features and images of stunning beauty.
Recurring themes in the mirror are dreams, memories and childhood innocence.
Running water is always accompanied by fire, rain, reflections and characters that appear in front of a long pan of the camera.
Tarkovsky developed a theory of film which he referred to as "sculpture in time".
By this, Tarkovsky meant that the unique feature of film as a medium was to take the experience of time and change it.
By using long shots and few cuts, he tried to give viewers a sense that time passed, lost time and the relationship at specific time periods.
Connection to the audience
It is the intent of the image that makes Mirror such a beautiful film and forms the connection between Tarkovsky and his audience.
In many cases, simple images are seen in a way we have never seen them before, with an intensity that grabs the viewer and draws them into Tarkovsky's world.
Rain that drops from a window, a milk jug when it falls and bursts on the floor, wind that winds through a house or field, simple pictures but filmed in a unique way.
The intensity of the images may reflect how we would see these images if we were near death.
The film also makes simple scenes seem dramatic, such as the excitement of the children watching a burning house or the joy of their father's visit.
The image while beautiful still reflects the character's isolation and emotion.
For example, Dacha stands from Tarkovsky & # 39; s childhood in a deep and rough landscape and the camera stays on the characters constantly throughout the film and examines their emotions and remains on their pain and anxiety.
Tarkovsky said of Mirror:
"Facts are so simple; they can be taken by anyone who resembles the experience of their own life"
This is the power of the mirror; we can relate to the pictures in the film in our own way and also get an insight into the tortured genius that was Andrei Tarkovsky.
"It's not just a simple and straightforward story. It doesn't have to be made anything more understandable"
Simple, complex, beautiful and spooky mirror has everything and much more.