Featured image for “Mirror”
Shown: January 4, 2020 at 6pm

Director : Andrei Tarkovsky

Country : Russia

Release Date : 1975

Duration : 101 mins

Language : Russian and Spanish

Subtitles : Yes

Loosely autobiographical, unconventionally structured and incorporating poems composed and read by the director’s father, the film unfolds as an organic flow of memories recalled by a dying poet of key moments in his life. In an effort to represent these themes visually, the film combines contemporary scenes with childhood memories, dreams and newsreel footage. Its cinematography shifts, often unpredictably, between colour, black-and-white and sepia. The film’s loose flow of stunning visually-oneiric shots, combined with its rich and symbolic imagery has been compared with the stream of consciousness technique in modernist literature. Mirror initially polarised critics and audiences, with many considering its narrative to be incomprehensible. It has however found favour with many Russians for whom it remains their most beloved of Tarkovsky’s works.

The smallest details (a stammering child, the wrinkle in the turned page of a book) stick like burrs, and we are left to wonder if any director has delved with more modesty and honesty into the heartbreak of the past.”  (Anthony Lane – New Yorker)