Mirror, The (1975)

Three years after making his sci-fi meditation, "Solaris," Tarkovsky directed "The Mirror," a film more directly autobiographical than any he had made before or since.


"It is the story of my mother and thus part of my own life," he said at the time. "The film contains only genuine incidents.  It's a confession."


Tarkovsky's parents separated in 1935, when he was three-year-old.  "The Mirror" has been seen as his way of exorcising repressed feelings from his childhood.  His father, Arseni, was a well-known poet of the period. Voice-over readings of his father's poems and unusually subjective associations lead us through powerful, lyrical images.


Unfortunately, the Soviet authorities disapproved of "The Mirror" and its domestic release was restricted.  Soviet audiences were surprised to see a film with an open-ended, ambiguous narrative and innovative, unorthodox visual style that was considered revolutionary by standards of their national cinema.


"The Mirror" was better received in the Western world, where there was a more established tradition of self-reflxive, autobiographical cinema. Several film critics pointed out the influence of Ingmar Bergman, Fellini, and Alain Resnais and their deeply grave and introspective themes on Tarkovsky and "The Mirror."

See Reviews of Tarkovsky's Solaris and Ivan's Childhood




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