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MIRROR

USSR, 1974 (MIFF 1980)

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Tarkovsky has directed Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Roublev and Solaris and in doing so he has established himself as one of the most striking and original directors working today. Mirror was made in 1974, but is only now appearing outside the USSR. Mirror is a breathtaking breakthrough into first person and Tarkovsky has produced a fascinating essay in the interdependence of private and collective memories.

The film itself is almost impossible to synopsise, but it centres mostly on Tarkovsky's own recollections of his childhood and family, laced with meaning that the spectator must decide upon and decipher.

Tarkovsky himself has said, "We wanted to make a simple film which would signify only what was shown. There are no episodes to decipher like symbols; there is nothing coded."

Philip Strick in Sight and Sound commented about the film that it "is as clear as its title. Its reflections, according to what one sets before them are both personal and public. Look into them, and a perspective comes into view, that is at once immediate and elusive. Retreat from them, and the film makes no demands in its reminiscence; it is as 'open' as any other memoir, and what is familiar to Tarkovsky can be as familiar to us, given time".

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