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Andrei Tarkovsky (1932 – 1986)


Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist and opera director.
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Andrei Tarkovsky
we know perfectly well that neither love nor peace of mind can be bought with any currency. (p219)
Tarkovsky quotes
Becoming an artist does not merely mean learning something, acquiring professional techniques and methods. Indeed, as someone has said, in order to write well you have to forget the grammar. (p88)
Tarkovsky
An artist needs knowledge and the power of observation only so that he can tell from what he is abstaining, and to be sure that his abstention will not appear artificial or false.




Tarkovsky Andrei quotes
The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as an example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good (p42)
Tarkovsky Andrei
Above all, I feel that the sounds of this world are so beautiful in themselves that if only we could listen to them properly, cinema would have no need for music at all. (p162)
Andrei Tarkovsky quotes
...what nobody seems to understand is that love can only be one-sided, that no other love exists, that in any other form it is not love. If it involves less than total giving, it is not love. It is impotent; for the moment it is nothing. (p217)
Andrei Tarkovsky
History is not Time; nor is evolution. They are both consequences. Time is a state: the flame in which there lives the salamander of the human soul (p57)
Tarkovsky Andrei quotes
It is obvious that art cannot teach anyone anything, since in four thousand years humanity has learnt nothing at all. (p50)
Tarkovsky
A literary work can only be received through symbols, through concepts - for that is what words are; but cinema, like music, allows for utterly direct, emotional, sensuous perception of the work. (p176)
Tarkovsky Andrei
It is perfectly possible to be a professional director or a professional writer and not to be an artist: merely a sort of executor of other people's ideas. (p188)
Andrei Tarkovsky
The man who has stolen in order never to thieve again remains a thief. Nobody who has ever betrayed his principles can have a pure relationship with life. Therefore when a film-maker says he will produce a pot-boiler in order to give himself the strength and the means to make the film of his dreams - that is so much deception, or worse, self-deception. He will never now make his film. (p124)




Andrei Tarkovsky quotes
One can only be staggered by the hubris of modern artists if we compare them, say, to the humble builders of Chartres Cathedral whose names are not even known. The artist ought to be distinguished by selfless devotion to duty; but we forgot about that a long time ago. (p189)
Andrei Tarkovsky
'Man is born unto the trouble as the sparks fly upwards.' In other words suffering is germane to our existence; indeed, how without it, should we be able to 'fly upwards' (p239)
Tarkovsky quotes
If there are some who talk the same language as myself, then why should I neglect their interests for the sake of some other group of people who are alien and remote? they have their own 'gods and idols' and we have nothing in common. [...] If you try to please audiences, uncritically accepting their tastes, it can only mean that you have no respect for them: that you simply want to collect their money (p174)
Tarkovsky Andrei
Never try to convey your idea to the audience - it is a thankless and senseless task. Show them life, and they'll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it. (p152)
Tarkovsky Andrei quotes
I have to say from the outset that not all prose can be transferred to the screen.
Andrei Tarkovsky
I find poetic links, the logic of poetry in cinema, extraordinarily pleasing. They seem to me prefectly appropriate to the potential of cinema as the most truthful and poetic of art forms. Certainly I am more at home with them than with traditional theatrical writing which links images through the linear rigid logical development of plot. That sort of fussily correct way of linking events usually involves arbitrarily forcing them into sequence in obedience to some abstract notion of order. And even when this is not so, even when the plot is governed by the characters, one finds that the links which hold it together rest on a facile interpretation of life's complexities.
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