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Andrei Tarkovsky once said, "Cinema is the one art form where the author can see himself as the creator of an unconditional reality, quite literally of his own world" and in the documentary, Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (1988), you get to observe this acclaimed filmmaker living by his words. Filmed during the production of Tarkovsky's final feature, The Sacrifice (1986), by Michal Leszczylowski, who served as the editor on the latter movie, Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky includes candid footage of Tarkovsky on the set of his film, supervising his actors, inspecting the art director's color scheme for a room, and registering disbelief when a camera jams during a crucial climactic sequence.
For anyone interested in understanding how Tarkovsky translates his innermost thoughts and visions into cinematic poetry, Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky is an invaluable document and one that constantly references the filmmaker's personal life. His wife, Larisa, appears on camera periodically to read passages from the filmmaker's private journal and to confirm autobiographical details that appear in Tarkovsky's films such as his recreation of significant dreams in his life. There are also glimpses of the work in progress, some of which were edited out of the final version of The Sacrifice, and selections from Tarkovsky's book, Sculpting in Time, read in voiceover by British actor Brian Cox.
Director/Screenplay: Michal Leszczylowski
Producer: Lisbet Gabrielsson
Cinematography: Arne Carlsson
Editing: Michal Leszczylowski
Principal Cast: Erland Josephson, Andrei Tarkovsky, Larisa Tarkovsky, Sven Nykvist, Brian Cox (narrator).
by Jeff Stafford