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.