Andrey Tarkovskiy


Director
Andrey Tarkovskiy

About

Also Known As
Andrei Tarkovski
Birth Place
Soviet Union
Born
April 04, 1932
Died
December 29, 1986
Cause of Death
Lung Cancer

Biography

Distinguished Soviet director whose austerely poetic, deeply personal films made him one of the most treasured artists of his generation.Tarkovsky followed his prize-winning short diploma piece, "The Steamroller and the Violin" (1960), with a lyrical feature debut "My Name is Ivan/Ivan's Childhood" (1962). The film portrays a young boy's espionage activities with the Partisans during WWI...

Family & Companions

Irma Tarkovsky
Wife
Married in 1960; divorced in 1963.
Larissa Tarkovsky
Wife
Defected to Italy with husband in 1984; mother of Andrei Tarkovsky; died in January 1998.

Bibliography

"Andrej Tarkovkij"
A. Frezzato (1977)

Biography

Distinguished Soviet director whose austerely poetic, deeply personal films made him one of the most treasured artists of his generation.

Tarkovsky followed his prize-winning short diploma piece, "The Steamroller and the Violin" (1960), with a lyrical feature debut "My Name is Ivan/Ivan's Childhood" (1962). The film portrays a young boy's espionage activities with the Partisans during WWII and was awarded top honors at the Venice Film Festival. Tarkovsky followed it with the epic, allegorical "Andrei Roublev" (1966).

Over three years in the making, "Andrei Roublev" follows the life of a 15th-century icon painter as he loses faith in society, god and art, finally achieving spiritual revitalization in the famous, concluding bell-making scene. Shelved for several years for its references to the plight of the contemporary Soviet artist, the film was released to wide acclaim in the West in 1969. Like most of Tarkovsky's work, it is a slow-moving, sumptuously textured canvas with a richly emotional climax.

Most of Tarkovsky's subsequent films deal in some degree with the other-worldly; in "Solaris" (1971), a space-traveler's fantasies are conjured into reality; "Stalker" (1979) takes place in "the zone," a mysterious, forbidden wasteland; and "The Sacrifice" (1986) unfolds in the final hours before a nuclear armageddon. "The Mirror" (1974), an intensely personal, multi-layered aural and visual poem, recalls an artist's youth in the Soviet Union during WWII. Tarkovsky's real-life mother plays the mother of the artist and his father, the esteemed poet Arseniy Tarkovsky, reads his own works on the soundtrack.

Tarkovsky began working outside the USSR in the early 1980s, making "Nostalgia" (which he himself described as "tedious") in Italy in 1983. He then employed several members of Ingmar Bergman's filmmaking team, including actor Erland Josephson and cinematographer Sven Nykvist, to make "The Sacrifice" (1986) in Sweden. Josephson plays a celebrated, retired artist/intellectual who can only avert a worldwide holocaust by making a supreme personal sacrifice. Visually sumptuous and extremely slow-paced (the opening shot is nearly ten minutes long), the film is a supreme summation of what Tarkovsky considered his most crucial concern: "the absence in our culture of room for spiritual existence." "The Sacrifice" won a Special Jury Prize at Cannes in the same year that Tarkovsky died of lung cancer in Paris at age 54.

Life Events

1959

Directed first short, "There Will Be No Leave Today"

1962

Debut as feature film director, "Ivan's Childhood"

1966

"Andrei Rublev" banned by Soviet authorities (was shown in Cannes, 1969 but not released in Soviet Union until 1971)

1983

Shot first film out of Soviet Union, "Nostalgia" (in Italy)

1984

Defected to the West (July)

Videos

Movie Clip

My Name Is Ivan (1962) - There's A Cuckoo Opening scenes comprising Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's quite spectacular debut on the international cinema scene, Nikolai Burlyalev the boy, Irina Tarkovskaya (no relation) his mother, in My Name Is Ivan, (a.k.a. Ivan's Childhood), 1962.
My Name Is Ivan (1962) - Questions Are Getting Weirder Only roughly taken in by Russian soldiers, Ivan (Nicolai Burlyaev) sleeps, then dreams of his presumably dead mother (Irina Tarkovskaya), in Andrei Tarkovsky's first feature My Name Is Ivan, (a.k.a. Ivan's Childhood), 1962.
My Name Is Ivan (1962) - Tell Staff Member 51 Russian officer Kholin (Valentin Zubkov) is wakened by Corporal Katasonov (Stepan Krylov), with news that young Ivan (Nikolai Burlyaev) has presented himself to their custody, early in Andrei Tarkovsky's My Name Is Ivan, (a.k.a. Ivan's Childhood), 1962.
Solaris (1972) - You're Already Flying Director Andrei Tarkovsky digging in to the special effects, as Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) travels to the space station, where he meets survivor Snaut (Youri Yarvet), in Solaris, 1972.
Solaris (1972) - Traffic Director Andrei Tarkovsky's surreal montage of Moscow traffic, troubled former space pilot Burton (Vadislav Dvorzhetsky) considering his options, in Solaris, 1972.
Solaris (1972) - Show Us Your Film Burton (Vadislav Dvorzhetsky) is showing Kris (Donatas Banionis) film of himself testifying years earlier before an inquiry into his visit to the mysterious planet, early in Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris, 1972.

Family

Arseniy Tarkovsky
Father
Poet.
Maria Ivanovna Tarkovsky
Mother
Andrei Tarkovsky
Son
Mother, Larissa Tarkovsky; defected to West in 1985.

Companions

Irma Tarkovsky
Wife
Married in 1960; divorced in 1963.
Larissa Tarkovsky
Wife
Defected to Italy with husband in 1984; mother of Andrei Tarkovsky; died in January 1998.

Bibliography

"Andrej Tarkovkij"
A. Frezzato (1977)