Los Angeles Times - 08/22/1994
"...[A] radiant, sublime dream of a film....THE MIRROR can be regarded as the work of a man who has found his voice and learned to express himself in his own powerful way..."
Sight and Sound - 11/01/2002
"...Like Sokurov, Tarkovsky has an extraordinary ability to imbue landscape with a lyrical and evocative quality..."
With THE MIRROR, legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky crafts perhaps his most profound and compelling film. What started off for Tarkovsky as a planned series of interviews with his own mother evolved into a lyrical and complex circular meditation on love, loyalty, memory, and history. Time shifts and generations merge as a single extraordinary actress (Margarita Terekhova) plays the narrator's former wife as well as his mother. Tarkovsky's memories as well as those of his mother are intermingled as a dark, sumptuous, and dreamlike pre-World War II Russia is evoked, accompanied throughout by the voice of Tarkovsky's father reading his own elegiac poetry. The spectacle of nature and its ubiquitous and ever-shifting presence is captured by Tarkovsky's camera as if by magic--the family cabin nestled deep in the verdant woods, a barn on fire in the middle of a gentle rainstorm, a gigantic wind enveloping a man as he walks through a wheat field--all creating indelible images with deep if mysterious emotional resonance. As the timeline shifts between the narrator's generation and his mother's, newsreel footage of Russian wars, triumphs, and disasters are juxtaposed with imagined scenes from the past, present, and future, crafting a silently lucid cinematic panopticon of memory, history, and nature.
In THE MIRROR, director Andrei Tarkovsky offers a stunning confession of his own life as a broken mirror, intertwining painful childhood memories with adult realities and hallucinatory dream sequences with hard-edged newsreel footage.
Art / Artists |
THE MIRROR had been proposed as director Andrei Tarkovsky's second film, but he decided to make SOLARIS first because it was more acceptable to the Russian censors.
Tarkovsky had planned to use hidden camera interviews with his mother as the basis for THE MIRROR, but later decided that this tactic was problematic.
The summer cabin depicted in THE MIRROR was based on a photograph of Tarkovsky's childhood cabin and in fact was built on the exact spot where the actual cabin had stood.
Tarkovsky's mother plays the older version of herself in THE MIRROR.
Tarkovsky's father reads his own poems throughout the film.