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Monday, April 28, 2008

Tarkovsky

Way back in '02 I first saw Solaris directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. I watched it three times in two days and was astounded, moved, and challenged (it also helped that Natalya Bondarchuk is absolutely stunning in her role of Hari). The film was poetry. It was patient, and challenging, and rewarding--I built a relationship with that film, and still I see elements of it reverberating in my creative work and the way I watch movies. As I recall, I was reading some Gertrude Stein at the time, and I recall musing that a very Steinian idea of insistence was also present in Tarkovsky's cinematic adaptation of Staislaw Lem's sci fi classic.

Since that film, I hold Tarkovsky as one of the great directors of the 20th century. How happy was I, then, when today what found its way into my hands but Tarkovsky edited by Nathan Dunne. This hefty book is full of gorgeous clips and photos, and includes 24 essays in the following categories: Russia and Religion, Art and Nature, Music and Modernity, Memory and Awakening from 20 contributors.

Reading this is going to take me a while, but hey school is almost out for the summer, and I've got time, time, time to read, write, and watch movies.

I wrote a long poem about that film right after watching it, so I'll include just its beginning as the poem still makes me happy:

Begin with a telescoping, a
house from memory. Long drive through color.
Slip into monochromatic. There was
a child and a sea. Disbelief, old leather.
The children were scampering, and a photo
was burning with twigs and recollection.
I am a guest.

...

Mirrors filled this place.
Chris was electricity,
deluge. His jacket,
blue and worn. He wore that
jacket well.

...

Spirals and mirrors
capture the sound of bells.
They were lost at a sea.
Where was Hari, where was
“Chris I have a feeling.”
These resurrections were always.
A feeling of rockets, of deception
and duplicate shawls.
Tide pools.

1 comment:

saudade said...

That book is gorgeous! That film, sublime. And that is still one of my favorite series of poems that you have written. Just perfect.

Tarkovsky -- this is what it's like to live forever.