Friday, April 09, 2010

FEATURE 51 - Mirror

My second Tarkovsky Movie in a week,very different in style from Andrei Rublev. Mirror is such a mysteriously personal movie, more like childhood as in a folk tale, but one that has no linear story sequence. The viewer is allowed into this world of Tarkovsky's recollections, but we aren't given any help to understand it, its jumbled up, and associative, there is no guide book. This is heightened memory, filled with poetic imagery,the exagerated myths of infancy.

Like many men he has a complex relationship with his Mother, he seems to be living in a state of blame towards her. He has the same actor play both his Mother and his estranged wife. His Father is absent, he has left the family home, why, we are never told. Though I'd hazard a guess Tarkovsky believes it was his Mothers fault

This clip is an evocative dream of his Mother washing her hair, she turns briefly into something monstrous,and then the ceiling plasterwork of the whole room collapses in. The dream ends with his youthful Mother looking towards a mirror, as the camera turns from framing her to showing us the mirror reflection, we see not a youthful Mother, but the older Mother of the present day. It's so striking a sequence it's lived on in my memory since the first time I saw it twenty years ago. Powerful film making.

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