Like any other artists or writers, film directors occasionally get the itch to put themselves in the limelight. This mostly manifests itself in the form of a documentary, such as Agnes Varda’s The Beaches of Agnes, Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir or Sarah Polley’s deeply personal The Stories We Tell. However, the likes of Jodorowsky and Tarkovsky preferred to use narrative fiction to tell the story of their lives, the latter in Mirror.
Mirror is a non-linear film which charts events, emotions and memories from Tarkovsky’s life. He uses A voiceover and poems by his father, Arseny, to help tell the tale. We are shown important snapshots from his life as a child, adolescent and a man, covering the period before, during and after the Second World War. The timeline is not chronological and the roles are played by, amongst others, Ignat Daniltsev, Margarita Terekhova, Oleg Yankovskiy and Larisa Tarkovskaya.
Mirror is a beautiful and beguiling collection of snapshots of important events in Tarkovsky’s life. It’s one of his most mesmerising and visually arresting films. Originally only given a limited release in Russia, it has come to be considered one of the best films of the last century by many. With so many memorable shots and scenes, Mirror is a great work of poetic and lyrical beauty which looks stunning in the new digital print.
Mirror is released on Blu-ray by Curzon Artificial Eye on Monday.