Andrei Tarkovsky is probably my all time favorite film director with a very specific cinematic athetic.
Few directors I think have worked so consistently with the same symbols and motives, creating an atmospheric strange ambiguity, that has a mesmerizing effect.
Bird uses an interesting approach to his peruse of Tarkovsky’s interesting techniques, his way of filming and creating his special atmosphere by arranging the films into elemental categories of Water, Fire, Earth and Air.
Solaris, Ivan’s Childhood, Mirror, Nostalgia, Andrei Rublev, and Sacrifice are explored deeply and though the book also considers Tarkovsky’s work in radio, theatre, and opera—as well as his work as an actor, screenwriter, and film theorist—Bird throughout keeps his focus firmly on Tarkovsky as a consummate filmmaker.
The book is interesting but quite academic/dry at times. But is is definitely great fun watching the movie and in parallel reading about it from a theoretical point of view. Definitely a great present for every Tarkovsky fan.
Which is your favorite film director? Do you know Tarkovsky and do you have a favorite movie by him? My favorites are definitely Stalker and Solaris which I have both seen several times now.