Film Poster for Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia — Stasys Eidrigevicius

Polish Poster

“A Nice Gathering, Isn’t It?” (Orson Welles, Robert Bresson, and Andrei Tarkovsky in Fancy Dress)

Film Poster for Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (Jean-Michel Folon)

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The Sacrifice — Andrei Tarkovsky (Full Film)

Stalker — Andrei Tarkovsky (Full Film with English Subtitles)

Teju Cole on America’s Reader in Chief

Read Teju Cole’s essay “A Reader’s War,” which tries to square Obama’s reputation as a man “widely read in philosophy, literature, and history” with the White House’s policies of drone warfare. From the essay:

How on earth did this happen to the reader in chief? What became of literature’s vaunted power to inspire empathy? Why was the candidate Obama, in word and in deed, so radically different from the President he became? In Andrei Tarkovsky’s eerie 1979 masterpiece, “Stalker,” the landscape called the Zona has the power to grant people’s deepest wishes, but it can also derange those who traverse it. I wonder if the Presidency is like that: a psychoactive landscape that can madden whomever walks into it, be he inarticulate and incurious, or literary and cosmopolitan.

Andrei Tarkovsky: The Collector of Dreams (Book Acquired, 12.29.2012)

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Layla Alexander-Garrett’s memoir Andrei Tarkovsky: The Collector of Dreams is new from Glagoslav. Their blurb:

The Sacrifice is Andrei Tarkovsky’s final masterpiece. The film was shot in Sweden, during the summer of 1985, while Tarkovsky was in exile; it turned out to be his final testament. Day after day, while the film was being made, Layla Alexander-Garrett – Tarkovsky’s on-site interpreter – kept a diary which forms the basis of her award-winning book Andrei Tarkovsky: The Collector Of Dreams. In this book the great director is portrayed as a real, living person: tormented, happy, inexhaustibly kind but at times harsh, unrelenting, conscience-stricken and artistically unfulfilled.

I’ve been riffling through it over the past few days. Alexander-Garrett describes her time with Tarkovsky in vivid detail—there’s a concrete richness to the book, and the author doesn’t try to psychoanalyze or interpret or otherwise interpose herself between the reader and the subject. More to come.