Andrei Tarkovsky

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Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (Russian: Андрей Арсеньевич Тарковский; Zavrazhie, Ivanovo Oblast, April 4, 1932 – Paris, December 29, 1986) was a Soviet film director, actor and writer . He is considered one of the most important and influential authors of Russian cinema at the time of the Soviet Union and one of the greatest in the history of cinema [appointment required].

Despite having only made seven feature films during his twenty-five career years, his untimely death, lung cancer, and the notoriously anti-commercial nature of most of his films (with the exception of Solaris , due to the fact that it was widely promoted by the authorities of his country as “the Soviet response to 2001, a space odyssey”, even though it was a film so unwilling to entertain the spectator as all its people, and that less liked Tarkovsky himself), today Tarkovsky is remembered for his extreme demand when preparing and directing his projects, for his theories about art in general and cinema in particular (collected in his famous volume Sculpting in time) , for his reluctance to comply with the cultural dogmas and ideological limitations of his country (which eventually led him into exile), and for his strong artistic personality.

He was the first Soviet filmmaker to receive the Golden Lion of Venice, also for his first film, The childhood of Ivan (1962). However, this triumphal start did not prevent him from suffering severe problems with the Soviet authorities, and it took him seven years to achieve the release of his next film, the monumental Andréi Rubliov (1969). He agreed to run Solaris (1972) because he needed to continue working. And he was able to make his very personal El espejo (1975), in which he narrated many passages of his own life. Willing to continue making movies at whatever price, the disastrous filming of Stalker (1979), which suffered the loss of much of the original negative for an accident in the development, almost cost him jail when he demanded that they return to grant the initial budget and he could only finish it with a much smaller investment.

Fed up with the impositions and the pressure of the Soviet cultural authorities, he emigrated first to Italy, where he made the documentary Tempo di viaggio (1983) and the fiction feature film Nostalgia (1983), and then to Sweden, where from the team of his admired Ingmar Bergman, he directed his posthumous work, Sacrificio (1986), which ended up already very sick with cancer, mounting it and designing the sound from a hospital bed. This film is the most awarded in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, with four awards, although it did not win the Palme d’Or.

The Soviet authorities allowed his son to visit him just before his death in the hospital in Paris where he was. Upon his death, they demanded that his body be sent to his country to be buried there, to which his wife, Larisa Tarkóvskaya, refused, alluding that she did not intend to bury the filmmaker in a country that had caused so much suffering for him and his family.

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