Andrei Tarkovsky :The Philosophy Of Cinema As Art

The Film Philosophy Of Andrei Tarkovsky

<img src="Andrei-Tarkovsky-Bhushan-Mahadani.jpg" alt="Andrei Tarkovsky Bhushan Mahadani">

Cinema Is The Only Art That Operates With The Concept Of Time. -Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Tarkovsky is one of the greatest directors of all time. His contribution to the cinema is exceptional. Andrei Tarkovsky  is the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream. He made only seven films out of which 5 were shot in Soviet Russia, one in Sweden and one in Italy. All his movies are considered as masterpieces. Here is the list of his movies. Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Solaris, The Mirror, Stalker, Nostalgia, The Sacrifice. All his movies have minimum 8.1/10 rating at IMDB.

Andrei Tarkovsky’s films are characterized by metaphysical themes, extremely long takes, and memorable images of exceptional beauty. Recurring motifs are dreams, memory, childhood, running water accompanied by fire, rain indoors, reflections, levitation, and characters re-appearing in the foreground of long panning movements of the camera. He once said

Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world, that is the meaning of cinema.

During the shooting of Andrei Tarkovsky’s last film The Sacrifice, cameraman Arne Carlsson taped around 50 hours of behind the scenes footage. Editor Michal Leszczylowski took the material and added scenes of previous interviews and interesting statements from the script of The Sacrifice and from Tarkovsky’s book ‘Sculpting in Time‘. The result is a documentary that shows the way Tarkovksy worked: carefully building each scene. Shows why he did the things he did: his vision on film.



I am not sure whether you have watched the full documentary so I would like to extract some major points about Andrei Tarkovsky’s shooting style and cinema philosophy.

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Shooting Style

  • Tarkovsky included levitation scenes into several of his films, most notably Solaris. To him these scenes possess great power and are used for their photogenic value and magical inexplicability.
  • Water, clouds, and reflections were used by him for their surreal beauty and photogenic value, as well as their symbolism, such as waves or the forms of brooks or running water.
  • Bells and candles are also frequent symbols. These are symbols of film, sight and sound, and Tarkovsky’s film frequently has themes of self-reflection.
  • Tarkovsky developed a theory of cinema that he called “sculpting in time”. By this he meant that the unique characteristic of cinema as a medium was to take our experience of time and alter it. Unedited movie footage transcribes time in real time. By using long takes and few cuts in his films, he aimed to give the viewers a sense of time passing, time lost, and the relationship of one moment in time to another.

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Philosophy Of Cinema As Art

Andrei Tarkovsky has a cinema philosophy called Sculpting In Time.

Cinema Is The Only Art That Operates With The Concept Of Time. Not because of its developing in time, because so does music and theater and ballet and other art forms.  I mean time in a literal sense. After all, what is a take? from when we say “Action” or when we say “Cut”, what is happening? It is the fixing of reality, fixing of time. The conservation of time for us to keep forever. No other art can fix time except cinema. So film is the mosaic of time.

I hope you like the post. Please let me know you thoughts in the comment box below and subscribe for the news letter above. What can be a better end for this post rather than a quote from Andrei Tarkovsky.

The artist is always the servant, and is perpetually trying to pay for the gift that has been given to him as if by a miracle. Modern man, however, does not want to make any sacrifice, even though true affirmation of the self can only be expressed in sacrifice.

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