torsdag den 31. marts 2011

Sculpting in time

As you've probably noticed, I've chosen to name this blog Sculpting in time. Sculpting in time is a term that is used by the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky to describe his filmmaking methods and his personal style.

Tarkovsky is one of my absolute favourite film directors. In my opinion, his 3 greatest works are Offret/The Sacrifice, The Mirror and Stalker. And what makes Tarkovsky's films so special? As mentioned above, he called his personal method Sculpting in time (he also wrote a book with exactly that title). The philosophy behind this term is basically that in films today (here, today means 30-40 years ago, but I think this is still more than relevant) there are way too rapid cutting and that destroys the natural rhythm of the film. Instead, Tarkovsky used very long and slowly paced shots, so that you instead would see the natural change of the motive. This technique is far more related to such kinds of art as painting and photography, but one could also say, that it's forces are the same as in music; in Tarkovsky's films, the most important parts of the films are the small, but extremely powerful moments, 'the ecstatic moment of truth' as Herzog described it. It doesn't mean that it opens the door to a 'deeper' knowledge. Actually, I don't consider Tarkovsky's films near as intellectual as a lot of other works. The only way to have a full experience when watching Tarkovsky is to use your inituition; don't try to sit down and analyze the films; be sure not to focus too much on symbolism (although it occurs, Tarkovsky doesn't make as much use of this as one might believe; especially not in The Mirror), but just enjoy it, let your consciousness stream and maybe even drop a tear, because when Tarkovsky is at his best, you'll experience some truly beautiful and mindblowing moments.

Getting to know Tarkovsky has really affected me. Through his films, my view on art has been totally changed, and they've been sources to a lot of long and wonderful reflections. He's also inspired a lot of other film makers, the most noticeable of those may be Bela Tarr, the Hungarian film maker whose films are really slowly paced as well. Remodernist filmmakers and film theoricians admire Tarkovsky as well and consider him an important remodernist, so that's another way to get introduced to him.

For those who already are into arthouse (I somehow hate this term, but I don't know what else to say) films, this may be superfluous reading. I didn't want to go too much into details with the single films, I may do that in future posts.


This is a famous scene taken from The Mirror. A great example of Tarkovky's style.

19 kommentarer:

  1. I love the youtube video, very disturbing yet awesome (:

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  2. Excellent post, wasn't it Andrei Tarkovsky that either started or was involved in that elite film club of directors who wouldn't use any kind of prop? dogme 95 i think it's called. I remember reading about him after watching "The antichrist" apparently there were a list of rules the directors had to abide by. Also check out the idiots by lars von treir a very minimalist film that i think you'd enjoy.

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  3. Yeah, it really is...

    Jennifer: No, sadly, Tarkovsky died before Dogme95 existed. But Lars von Trier has often stated that he was very inspired by Tarkovsky's works! It's funny, I actually have The Idiots on DVD. It's very enjoyable, indeed, might watch it again soon.

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  4. Scary yet really good, Tarkovsky has some serious work.

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  5. Quit bizarre, but I've been looking for something new watch. I'll start exploring his work.

    Nice blog, +1

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  6. Well, Cameron, I'd say that Tarkovsky is a really good reason NOT to kill yourself! Enjoy.

    Thanks for your comments all.

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  7. first time hearing of torkovsky, thanks for the info

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  8. Cool blog man. Will be checking back tomorrow.

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  9. good post, nice reading.. video was a bit dark, never saw that movie.. +following interesting blog

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  10. didn't know that. pretty cool

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  11. His style makes me feel anxious, is that okay? O.o

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  12. I've never been big on this art form, but Tarkovsky seems to be highly skilled at what he does. Who are your other favourites?

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  13. Nice post dude, following.

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  14. oooh very cool, totally followed

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