2. “Mirror”, Andrei Tarkovsky (1975)

Part of The 100 Greatest Movies I’ve Ever Seen list.


Mirror aka Зеркало aka Zerkalo

dir. Andrei Tarkovsky scr. Aleksander Misharin and Andrei Tarkovsky cin. Georgi Rerberg with Margarita Terekhova, Ignat Daniltsev, Larisa Tarkovskaya, Alla Demidova

In 100 words: Tarkovsky is the ultimate visual artist and the very definition of a cinematic poet. Mirror is his most personal movie, and his most gorgeous: I’m floored by its photography, by its emotional textures, by its haunting soundscape. His control of even the elements astounds me. But what finally moves me is Tarkovsky’s guts, melancholy, and unabashed love for his mother. Few films can be classified as “experiences” the way Mirror can be. And few films can infer so much about memory, about nostalgia, about grief, and about life the way this film does. It is like magic in a bottle.

Other Movies for Context: Tarkovsky’s filmography is instantly recognizable. His formal mastery of the craft is astounding. Andrei Rublev (1966) is insanely great and unique, barely missing the Top 100 as well. Solaris (1972) is philosophical and kind of confusing. Stalker (1979) feels like a horror movie about post-apocalyptic world. Nostalghia (1983) feels oddly like what I imagine purgatory would be like. I have two more of his films to watch and I can’t wait.

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