The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky 1975)

 

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When A film is called ‘One of the greatest of all time’ by a number of well renowned critics and fans of Andrei Tarkovsky, everyone can’t be wrong. ‘The Mirror’ was this weeks screening and a film I won’t forget in a hurry. If there was one word to describe this film it would be ‘enigmatic’. The film could easily be described as boring, but being a film maker, and being someone who has to take into consideration what we have been shown for the benefit of our films, its a gold mine of information and knowledge. One scene and possibly the most memorable of the film, was the fire scene. The way everything was perfectly done, from the movement and framing of the camera, to how the audio fades from inside to outside as the camera moves. Scenes like this make the film so easy to get lost in, and with a story which isn’t very strong or solid comes out so well because of the way it is shot.

When watching this even as a media student its easy to forget about the person behind the camera, and this is one of Tarkovsky’s traits. They look effortless and almost unreal. Thats why when you watch ‘The Mirror’ you cannot tell if the story is suppose to be real, or wether you are watching a dream. A film about time and memory, which doesn’t have a narrative sounds like a recipe for disaster. But something Tarkovsky has always done was get across meaning not through a narrative piece, but through a more poetic piece, something with more meaning than what meets the eye. Using past memories and relaying them into a film like this is anything but easy, which is probably why this is claimed to be one of his best pieces of work.

There are many things that I can take from this and use in our final piece. One being that to create a dream like effect, you do not have to sit there and change a whole shot in post production, something as simple as moving the camera in a slow and flowing motion can give this affect. Also when filming at shot you change location, but Tarkovsky has taught me that wit use of space you don’t have to cut from scene to scene every 4 seconds when somebody moves, use the space around you to create a different meaning, and a different way of looking at your film.

 

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