“Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”
— Ingmar Bergman
Arguably the greatest director of Soviet cinema and one of the most influential figures in film history, Andrei Tarkovsky has made an immense impact with a filmography that consists of a dozen titles, including only seven feature films. Known for his long takes and distinct use of time, religious iconography, the spiritual struggles of characters, his particular approach to science-fiction, and consistent visual motifs, Tarkovsky’s legacy reaches far and wide, continuing to influence countless filmmakers, and remaining relevant across continents and disciplines decades after his death.
Curated by James Quandt, Senior Programmer, TIFF Cinematheque, The Poetry of Apocalypse: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky is the first Toronto retrospective in 15 yearsdevoted to the Russian visionary. The programme runs November 9 to November 30 and showcases eight of Tarkovsky’s works, five in 35mm and three digital restorations. The series also includes a documentary on Tarkovsky by Chris Marker, who was a personal friend of the auteur. Highlights include:
- The full-length version of Andrei Rublev (1966), Tarkovsky’s masterpiece on the 15th-century painter, which is almost a full hour longer than its original release.
- Week-long theatrical engagements for the new digital restorations of Tarkovsky’s two science-fiction masterpieces, Stalker (1979) and Solaris (1972), starting November 17 and 24, respectively.
- University of Chicago film scholar Robert Bird, author of Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema, will offer an introductory talk on the aesthetics of Tarkovsky’s work and his influence on Soviet Cinema on November 14, prior to the first screening of Stalker.