Mise en Abyme

Mise en Abyme

It sure seems like it would be a nice time for a poet to make love to the beautiful and intelligent admirer with some of the passion she’s just finished devouring in the pages of his poetry. He takes the book from her, shuts the door again and throws it across the room. It lands in the corner. What is wrong with this guy? I think I know. I can’t answer for his love life, but what’s a piece of art to an artist after it’s made? A former mistress.

 

Unexplainable But True 

Unexplainable But True 

He tells her to throw away the book of translated poems she’s reading because “poetry, the whole of art in fact, is untranslatable.” This is Tarkovsky’s retort to the Soviet censors whose state he has fled in his quest for artistic freedom.

 

If words could say everything, then we would need nothing else.

If words could say everything, then we would need nothing else.

Art reaches us through our imagination and through our senses. Our senses are all going to have a common reaction to certain stimuli; that’s one thing great art understands. It seems to me an artist depends on the fact that essential associations will carve predictable lines through common precincts in our brains.

 

The Artists Views

The Artists Views

…As in a mirror, an icon, a riddle. I see life eternal which is nothing less but that blessed regard, that gaze of love that never ceases to behold me even in the most secret places of my soul.” Cusanus (1401-1464)

 

Art and Conscience

Art and Conscience

In “Andre Rublev”, Tarkovsky’s application of the theater of cruelty is fashioned to nourish pity, tug at the heart and urge us toward compassion and harmony. He intends for me to empathize with his victims.

 

Not a Pipe Dream

Not a Pipe Dream

How can we claim here Tarkovsky means to humble his critics if, in the end, Alexander, his screen critic, saves the world? Consider how he did it. By giving up his reputation and all that it bought for him. Ironically, the message becomes that a critic’s highest achievement is to censor his or herself.

 

Double Helix

Double Helix

Experience accumulates and organizes itself as knowledge along great forked trunks, branched, limbed and twigged networks in our minds. Tarkovsky’s camera conducts itself along similar lines.

 

Acrobatic Ideas

Acrobatic Ideas

Tarkovsky would say the experience of the present is elusive, a slippery one where anything could yet develop. The past is certain, it is therefore more solid. Evidently even a sculptor in time seeks something substantial for his chisel.

 

Mystic Crystal Revelations

Mystic Crystal Revelations

More than any other director than I can think of, Tarkovsky’s films could be strung together from first to last and represent a continuous fugue in which the artist’s grappled with the same challenge repeatedly and resolved some different aspect of it, each time, in some fascinating and inventive new way.

 

Another Savoy Truffle?

Another Savoy Truffle?

If I had to describe it to someone in a single line I’d say Vol. 2 unspools like one-third act of contrition, another third true confession, shedding light in cracks on his persona, as well as a few embedded in the collective unconscious, and one third of the time jabbing at the eyes of his audience.