Andrei Tarkovsky


Andrei Arsenievich Tarkovsky (April 4, 1932, Zavrazhye, Ivanovo Industrial Region – December 29, 1986) – Soviet theater and film director and screenwriter. People”s Artist of the RSFSR (1980). Had a significant influence on the world cinematography. His films “Andrei Rublev” (1966), “Solaris” (1972), “Zerkalo” (1974) and “Stalker” (1979) are periodically included in the lists of the best film works of all time.

Tarkovsky”s work is a significant and unusual phenomenon of world culture. His films form a cycle about the sufferings and hopes of a man who has taken upon himself the burden of moral responsibility for the entire world. Tarkovsky”s conceptual and artistic solutions are remarkable for their originality and depth.

Childhood and Youth

He was born in the village of Zavrazhye, Yurievets District, Ivanovo Industrial Region (now the village of Zavrazhye, Kodymskiy District, Kostroma Region), on the Volga, where his mother”s relatives lived. His father, Arseny Tarkovsky, was a poet and translator, a native of Elisavetgrad. His mother, Maria Ivanovna Vishnyakova, a member of the ancient Dubasov family, graduated from the Moscow Institute of Literature, from which her husband had also graduated. In September 1932 her mother returned to Moscow with little Andrei. Since 1934 the Tarkovskys have lived in apartment No. 2 in a two-storyed house (a stone lowrise and a wooden top) in 1-st Shchipkovsky Lane in Zamoskvorechye. In 1934 Andrei had a sister, Marina. In 1935 Arseny Tarkovsky left his family, and in 1941 he volunteered to the front, where after being wounded he lost his leg. Maria Ivanovna got a job as a proofreader at the First Model Printing House in Moscow and worked there until her retirement.

In 1939 Andrei entered Moscow School No. 554 (now School No. 627). At the beginning of the war, his mother took him and his sister to her relatives in Yurievets. Though Tarkovsky spent his life mostly in Moscow, the image of his childhood home remained for him in Yurievets, where the Tarkovsky Museum Center now stands. This is how he appeared in “Mirror”, a film depicting many of his childhood experiences – the departure of his father, his mother with two children in her arms, the evacuation, school, and the difficulties of daily life.

It was a hard time. I always missed my father. When my father left our family, I was three years old. Life was unusually hard in every way. Still, I got a lot out of life. All the best things I have in life, the fact that I became a filmmaker, I owe it all to my mother.

In 1943, the Tarkovskys returned to Moscow. Andrei continued his studies at his old school, where he was in the same class as Andrei Voznesensky. Judging by the certificate, which is preserved in the VGIK archives, Andrei was not distinguished at school by his diligence and showed no interest in either natural sciences or the humanities. His upbringing was traditionally artistic. From the age of seven, he attended the district music school (piano class), and in the seventh grade he entered the Moscow Art School in memory of 1905, where he studied drawing.

In 1951-1952, Tarkovsky studied at the Arabic department of the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, but left the course after receiving a concussion in gymnastics class. In his autobiography for admission to the VGIK he wrote:

During my studies, I often thought about the fact that I made my choice of profession somewhat hastily. I didn”t know life enough.

In May 1953, Tarkovsky took a job as a collector on a research expedition of the Nigrizoloto Institute in the remote Turukhanskiy district of Krasnoyarsk region, where he worked for almost a year on the Kureyka River, walking hundreds of kilometers through the taiga. He then gave his album of sketches to the archive of Nigrizoloto.

I had a very difficult time in my time. In general, I got into bad company when I was young. My mother saved me in a very strange way – she got me a job in a geological party. I worked there as a collector, almost a worker, in the taiga, in Siberia. And that is the best memory of my life. I was 20 years old at the time… All this strengthened my decision to become a film director.

Upon his return from the expedition in 1954, Tarkovsky applied to the VGIK and was accepted to the director”s department in Mikhail Romm”s workshop. “This choice was more accidental than conscious,” he admitted later.

Tarkovsky”s years of study and early work coincided with a period of renewal in art. In 1953, the decision was made to increase the production of films. In 1954, when Tarkovsky entered the VGIK, 45 films were made, and a year later, 66. An important role in Tarkovsky”s development was also played by the fact that not long before he joined the institute the war generation, which had to renew both themes and figurative means of expression in cinema. In 1955-1956 the young directors made about 50 films. Many young screenwriters, cameramen, and actors also made their debut during this period.

This was the time of the “Khrushchev Thaw,” which began with the revelation of the Stalin personality cult at the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956. The “thaw” brought Western literature and music, foreign auteur cinema, Italian neo-realism, and the French New Wave to young people. The term “auteur” (from the French auteur) appeared in Western film criticism, referring to a single filmmaker who controlled all aspects of filmmaking, from the script to editing. All of this pushed Tarkovsky towards the idea of auteur cinema. During these years he was heavily influenced by Buñuel and Bergman, later joined by Kurosawa and Fellini.

Tarkovsky”s main teacher and mentor during his studies was Mikhail Romm, who educated a whole pleiad of talented filmmakers. A representative of the narrative and genre cinema of the 1930s, which many of his students denied and critically reinterpreted, Romm nevertheless developed in them a creative individuality and fidelity to their truth. He also bailed them out when they were in trouble, lent them money, patronized them in the studios, and defended their work, sometimes refuting his own.

Tarkovsky”s first course work was a short film “The Killers,” which he co-produced in the fall of 1956 with Alexander Gordon and Marika Beiku based on Hemingway”s story. This work was praised by Romm. It was followed by a short film “No Dismissal Today…” (1957). In his third year, Tarkovsky met Andron Konchalovsky, then a freshman in the directing department. Their artistic friendship began from that moment. A. Konchalovsky recalled:

Tarkovsky and I grew up in denial about a lot of things in cinema. We thought we knew how to make real cinema. The main truth is in the texture, so you can see that everything is genuine – the stone, the sand, the sweat, the cracks in the wall. There should be no makeup, no plaster hiding the living texture of the skin. Costumes should be unironed, unworn. We did not recognize Hollywood or, what was the same for us, Stalinist aesthetics. We had the feeling that the world lay at our feet, that there were no obstacles we could not overcome.

The friends co-authored the screenplay “Antarctica, A Distant Land” (1959), excerpts from which were published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets”. Tarkovsky offered the script to Lenfilm Studios, but was rejected. They successfully sold their next script together, “The Rink and the Violin” (1960), to the newly created “Yunost” association at Mosfilm. It was a sentimental story about a short friendship between a boy violinist and a rink driver.

When Tarkovsky received permission to direct “The Rink and the Violin” as his graduation work, he engaged a young cameraman, Vadim Yusov, to shoot it. The concept was influenced by a short film by French director Albert Lamoris, “The Red Balloon,” which won the Grand Prix and an Oscar at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956. This first collaboration between Tarkovsky and Yusov, noted for its liberating camera and color expression, won first prize at the New York Student Film Festival in 1961. In connection with “The Cutter and the Violin,” Maya Turovskaya wrote:

Andrei Tarkovsky will never treat art as a craft, an entertainment or a source of income. It will always be for him not only his own life”s work, but also his life”s work in general, an act. He first expressed this high respect for art in a short children”s story.

In 1960, Tarkovsky graduated with honors from VGIK.

Careers in the Soviet Union

In 1961, Tarkovsky applied for the film “Andrei Rublev,” which required a lot of preparatory work. Therefore, his first feature-length production was Ivan”s Childhood, based on Vladimir Bogomolov”s war story Ivan. The poignant and tragic story of a teenager (Nikolai Burlyaev), in which the bright world of childhood was contrasted with the grim realities of war, caused a sensation in world cinema. The film was awarded the “Golden Lion of St. Mark” at the Venice International Film Festival (1962) and many other film awards. With an obvious gravitation to the stylistics of Bresson and Kurosawa the young Soviet director showed an independent talent of an original thinking artist.

Meanwhile, Tarkovsky began work on a film about Andrei Rublev, in which the title character was in a tormented search for himself in his relationship with the world and with people. The script, written in collaboration with A. Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, featured both a costume-historical epic and an authorial sermon film. Filming began in 1964 and lasted more than a year. At that time the transition from thaw to stagnation was taking shape in the country. Work on the film progressed slowly and with difficulty. Soviet art officials saw unfavorable parallels with contemporary reality in it; many of them were also irritated by its unfamiliar form. “Andrei Rublev (originally titled Passion for Andrei) was subjected to revisions and censorship amendments.

In 1969, the French company that had obtained the foreign distribution rights to Andrei Rublev showed it out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the FIPRESCI prize. On October 19, 1971 the film was finally released in Russian cinemas in limited numbers of copies and since then has practically never left the screen. Maya Turovskaya wrote:

Tarkovsky”s films have always been staggering in their novelty, difficult for the average person to comprehend. Officials did not understand them, it seemed that they would not be understood by the audience either. In fact, Tarkovsky always had a “dedicated” and loyal audience, just as poetry has a “dedicated” reader.

In 1970, after a break of almost five years, Tarkovsky began shooting “Solaris”. The heroes of this philosophical-fantasy drama based on the novel of the same name by Stanislav Lem – representatives of the technocratic civilization of the future, living in the artificial world of the space station, exploring the planet Solaris. However, even here Tarkovsky revealed his idea of man”s original “divine” spirituality, taking it beyond national and cultural boundaries: Rublev”s “Trinity” coexisted equally with the music of Bach and paintings by P. Bruegel, and the composition of the final frame was a literal quotation of Rembrandt”s “Return of the Prodigal Son”. In 1972, “Solaris” was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and, besides the Special Jury Prize, it also won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. In 1973 the film was released in Soviet cinemas.

In 1974 the director made his most confessional film “The Mirror”. In it, he did not limit himself by the limits of the traditional plot and offered a rich set of visual associations and memories of the artist – the author and the hero. The semantic structure of the film was surprisingly multi-dimensional: along with the philosophical and poetic “codes” in some episodes one could read the anti-totalitarian subtext (an episode in the printing house, etc.). At the joint session of the Goskino Collegium and the secretariat of the Union of Filmmakers, “The Mirror” was recognized as an incomprehensible, non-massive and generally unsuccessful film. Tarkovsky expressed his own opinion about it:

Since cinema is, after all, an art, it cannot be understood any more than all other art forms… I don”t see any sense in mass… Some myth of my inaccessibility and incomprehensibility was born. It is impossible to assert myself as an individual without differentiating the viewer.

The film “The Mirror” was released in limited distribution and exacerbated the latent confrontation between the director and the authorities. Preparing for the new project, Tarkovsky wrote scripts, gave lectures on directing at the Higher Courses of Scriptwriters and Directors (1977-1978), and staged “Hamlet” (1977) at the Leninskiy Komsomol Theater. The director told about this work at the meeting with Kazan film enthusiasts:

I staged “Hamlet” not because I wanted to learn the profession of theater director, but because of the play itself, as I love it very much. And I also wanted to see my favorite actor A. Solonitsyn as Hamlet. I dream of staging “Hamlet” in the cinema, but it”s not the time yet, because the staging by G. Kozintsev, the director whom I respect, has not disappeared from my memory. But someday I hope to direct “Hamlet” in the cinema. The work in theater was useful to me because it gave me an understanding of the specifics of work as a theater director, which is different from the specifics of work in cinema.

Filmed in 1979 based on the Strugatsky brothers” story “Picnic on the Side of the Road”, “Stalker” looked like a kind of compromise: the threateningly mysterious and at the same time promising the fulfillment of any desires Zone was perceived as a hint at the crisis of technocratic (that is “capitalist”) civilization, in the same way one could interpret the meaning of dialogues of the writer (Anatoly Solonitsyn) and the professor (Nikolay Grinko). On June 7, 1979 “Stalker” was accepted by the State Cinema Committee, and on June 15 it was premiered at the House of Cinema.

On January 25, 1980, Tarkovsky was awarded the title of People”s Artist of the RSFSR. In May 1980 “Stalker” was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. The film was released in Soviet cinemas on May 19 in an edition of 196 copies.

Since 1964, from the very first intake of the director”s department of the Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors, Tarkovsky lectured on “The Basics of Film Direction” and “The Literary and Screen Image”. And in 1982 his director”s workshop was opened, but he didn”t have time to start it because he left for Italy.

In emigration.

In 1980, Tarkovsky went to Italy to work on the screenplay for “Nostalgia”; a contract with the Italians to shoot it was signed in March 1982. Immediately after that the director left for Italy again.

On April 4, 1982, Tarkovsky celebrated his 50th birthday, but no commemorative texts were published in his homeland and no formal celebrations were organized at the House of Cinema.

In the course of his search for nature, the director shot the documentary Time to Travel (1982). In 1983, Nostalgia was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Prize for Directing, the FIPRESCI Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.

After the termination of his business trip, Tarkovsky and his wife Larissa continued to stay in Italy and sent a letter from Rome to Filipp Yermash, Chairman of the State Cinema of the USSR, asking to allow him, his wife, mother-in-law and 12-year-old son Andrei to live in Italy for three years, after which he undertook to return to the USSR. On June 29, 1983, Yermash sent a secret memo to the CPSU Central Committee:

Having considered A.A. Tarkovsky”s appeal, the USSR State Cinema Fund considers that his decision to stay abroad is hardly a consequence of his emotional instability and a certain failure of the Cannes Film Festival, from which Tarkovsky hoped to return with the main prize. Concentrating on his own egocentric understanding of an artist”s moral duty, A. Tarkovsky, apparently, hopes that in the West he will be free from the class influence of bourgeois society and will be able to create without regard to its laws. (…) In any case, the USSR Goskino does not consider it possible to accept A.A. Tarkovsky”s conditions, keeping in mind that granting his request would set an undesirable precedent.

On September 16, 1983, Tarkovsky wrote to his father:

I”m very sad that you got the feeling that I had chosen the role of “exile” and was about to leave my Russia… I don”t know who benefits from this interpretation of the grave situation in which I found myself “thanks” to many years of harassment by the authorities of the State Cinema, and in particular, by Yermash, its chairman. Maybe you haven”t counted, but out of more than twenty years of my work in Soviet cinema, I was hopelessly unemployed for about seventeen. Goskino didn”t want me to work! They were persecuting me all the time and the last straw was the Cannes scandal, where everything was done to stop me getting an award (I had won three) for Nostalgia. I consider this film to be highly patriotic, and many of the things you bitterly reproach me for were expressed in it.

On May 25, 1983 the director of “Mosfilm” signed an order on his dismissal “for failure to appear at work without a valid excuse.

In November 1983, Mussorgsky”s opera Boris Godunov, directed by Tarkovsky, premiered at the Royal Covent Garden Theater in London.

On July 10, 1984, at a specially called press conference in Milan, the director announced his decision to stay in the West, that is, he became a non-returner. In his homeland, it was forbidden to show his films in cinemas or to mention his name in the press. But no one dared to take drastic measures – depriving Tarkovsky of his Soviet citizenship.

Florence City Hall gave him an apartment and awarded him the title of honorary citizen of the city.

The film Sacrifice (1986), shot in Sweden, was the director”s last work. On December 13, 1985, doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer.

When news of Tarkovsky”s illness reached the USSR, the authorities finally allowed his son Andrei to fly to his father. At the same time, the ban on Tarkovsky”s name was lifted, and his films were once again allowed to be shown in cinemas.

Tarkovsky died in Paris on December 29, 1986, at the age of 55.

On December 31, 1986 radio station “Mayak” broadcasted an obituary, and on January 1, 1987 it was printed in the newspaper “Soviet Culture” – the official notification of the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR and the USSR Goskino. It contained the following words:

The last years – a difficult, crisis time for him – A. Tarkovsky lived and worked outside his homeland, which one had to think about with bitterness and regret. It was impossible to agree or reconcile with this.

The funeral took place on January 5, 1987, after a funeral service at St. Alexander Nevsky Church and a civil funeral service at the Russian cemetery Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois near Paris. At first Tarkovsky was buried in someone else”s grave – Sesaul Vladimir Grigoriev (1895-1973). A year later the necessary funds were found and on December 29, 1987 ashes were moved to a new place. Larissa Tarkovskaya paid for the tomb for 200 years in advance. In 1994, based on her sketch, a gravestone was created; the inscription on it reads: “To the man who saw an angel”; at the base of the cross are seven steps cut out according to the number of Tarkovsky”s films.

Many of the director”s projects remained unrealized, including “Hoffmaniana,” “My Dostoevsky,” “Hamlet” by Shakespeare, “Oblomov,” “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” by Tolstoy, “Idiot” and “Podrostok” by Dostoevsky, “Gorky”s Life of Klima Samgin, Pomialovsky”s Essays on Bursa, Hesse”s The Steppenwolf, Rudolf Steiner”s The Fifth Gospel, The Magic Mountain, Joseph and His Brothers, Thomas Mann”s Doctor Faustus.

In 1990, Andrei Tarkovsky was posthumously awarded the Lenin Prize.

Family and Personal Life

“There are things you just have to know – and among them, of course, is Tarkovsky. For Western filmmakers, he is the God of filmmaking,” said British filmmaker Danny Boyle. Many contemporary filmmakers are proud to consider themselves, if not disciples and followers, then at least admirers of Tarkovsky, who truly had a huge impact on world cinema.

The most obvious example of recent times is the film by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Survivor, in which critics and attentive viewers found a number of quotations and borrowings from Tarkovsky. At the same time, Iñárritu never concealed his love for Tarkovsky”s films, and in preparation for Survivor, he even gave director Jack Fisk a disc of Andrei Rublev, and he knew at once what kind of film it would be.

The Danish Lars von Trier is considered Tarkovsky”s “chief disciple” in the West, who dedicated his film “Antichrist” to the master. Director Andrei Zvyagintsev pointed to the direct connection between Antichrist and Tarkovsky”s legacy, referring to the entry in The Martyrology, which was the origin of von Trier”s film: “The New Joan of Arc” is the story of how a man burned his beloved by tying her to a tree and laying a fire under her feet. For lying.” References to Tarkovsky can be found in many of Trier”s other films, and one chapter of Nymphomaniac is even titled “The Mirror.”

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, winner of the Palme d”Or for “Winter Hibernation,” rates “The Mirror” above all other films in world cinema. The second place in the list of his personal preferences is “Andrei Rublev”. Of Tarkovsky, Ceylan said:

After watching his films, you can”t look at the world the way you did before. Your worldview immediately changes – there are so many different nuances, new details… Tarkovsky opened up a new vision of life in every aspect – in language, in the way of storytelling. It was his own message to the world, which turned out to be close to a lot of people.

The influence of this message can be seen in each of Ceylan”s films. All of them are close to Tarkovsky in their imagery, in their intonation, and in their meanings.

Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu continues the tradition of Tarkovsky:

Tarkovsky is one of the most important directors for me. At one time his films changed my view of cinematography, I realized that poetry can be created not only on paper, but also on the screen.

Kaplanoglu”s anti-utopia Grain (2017) is a free retelling of Strugatsky”s Stalker, a kind of dedication to Tarkovsky”s film.

American director Steven Soderbergh even dared to challenge Tarkovsky in the form of a remake. He presented his version of Solaris (2002) not as an independent adaptation of Stanislav Lem”s novel, but as a reinterpretation of Tarkovsky”s iconic film, as a creative dialogue after three decades.

Critics have also noted a clear connection with Christopher Nolan”s Interstellar”s Solaris. This applies both to common motifs (e.g., the juxtaposition of space and the home from home) and to the manner of narration.

Tarsem Singh, an Indian-born filmmaker working in America whose childhood was spent in Iran, also explains his love for Tarkovsky. Talking about his film Snow White: Revenge of the Dwarfs (in the original Mirror Mirror), he confessed that he was inspired by shots of a birch grove from Ivanov”s Childhood when creating the snow-covered forest. But even before he entered big cinema, Singh openly quoted “Sacrifice” in a music video he directed for the American rock band R.E.M. Losing My Religion (1991).

In Russia, critics have considered Alexander Sokurov the “heir of Tarkovsky” since his first films, and Andrey Zvyagintsev has earned the title “our Tarkovsky today. Konstantin Lopushansky admitted that his experience as Tarkovsky”s assistant on “Stalker” helped him form as an artist.

In 2018, a derivative adjective from the director”s last name, Tarkovskian, was included in the Oxford English Dictionary.

On November 28, 2012, a collection of materials related to the life and work of Andrei Tarkovsky was offered for sale at an auction organized by the Sotheby”s auction house in London. It was collected and kept by a close friend and personal secretary of the director, film critic Olga Surkova, who has lived in Amsterdam since 1982. Lot number 187 impressed collectors. For archive Tarkovsky vied for 22 bidders, to the finish line came three – the Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, an unknown collector from Latvia and a representative of the Ivanovo region. The price of the initially announced – a hundred thousand pounds sterling – rose in 18 minutes, ten times. As a result, the lot was bought for 1 497 250 pounds (about 74 million rubles), the representative of the Ivanovo region.

Financial assistance for the acquisition of the archive was provided by the “National Right Holders Support Fund” established by the Russian Copyright Society (RAO) and the Russian Union of Right Holders (RUR). In addition, money was received from patrons, including politicians and businessmen, as well as partners of the “Zerkalo” International Film Festival named after Andrei Tarkovsky.

The archive presents diaries, letters and a complete collection of manuscripts dedicated to the creation of the book “Sealed Time”. 32 audio tapes, 13 mini-discs (digitized tapes) with Tarkovsky”s voice, four large photo albums, including photos of foreign trips of director, printed directorial versions of scripts “White, White Day” (“Mirror”), “Solaris”, “Stalker”, which differ from final versions, as well as storyboards of these films and Tarkovsky”s letter to General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU L.I. Brezhnev about the possibility to show “Andrei Rublev” to the Soviet Union.  Brezhnev about the possibility of showing Andrei Rublev in the Soviet Union.

In February 2013, the materials were transferred to the Andrei Tarkovsky Museum Center in Yurievets, after which his sister Marina Tarkovskaya began to systematize the archive. The archive was presented in June 2013 at the VII International Film Festival named after Andrei Tarkovsky “Mirror” at the Art Museum in Ivanovo.

In 1987, the Tarkovsky International Institute was founded in Paris. The founders were Mstislav Rostropovich, Robert Bresson, Larissa Tarkovskaya and Maximilian Schell.

In 1988, the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR recommended the creation of the Andrei Tarkovsky Museum in Building 26, Bldg. 1 in 1 Shchipkovsky Lane, a museum of Andrei Tarkovsky. In 2004, the roof of the dilapidated house began to collapse. At the initiative of the Cinema Fund, which was part of the IC of Russia, the house was dismantled. Then its traces were lost. In 2008, in response to letters from filmmakers, the Moscow government passed Decree No. 586, which stated the decision to create the State Cultural Institution of the City of Moscow Cultural Center “Tarkovsky House”. In 2014, the Moscow Department of Culture included the future Tarkovsky House, the construction of which never began, as a branch of the Moscow Cinema Network. Construction of the house was supposed to be completed in 2017. However, construction work never began.

In 1988, the name of Andrei Tarkovsky was given to the small planet number 3345, discovered by the astronomer of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Lyudmila Karachkina.

In 1988, the All-Union round table “Vzglyad” on the problems of philosophical cinema, devoted to the works of Tarkovsky, was held in Lviv. More than 300 delegates – critics, cinema critics, philosophers, culturologists, members of his film crew, and representatives of film clubs – took part in the round table. These were the first readings on Tarkovsky”s works in the USSR and abroad. At the same time, the Andrei Tarkovsky Society was founded, which existed until September 1991.

In 1989, the Andrei Tarkovsky Foundation was established, which existed until 2002 and held festivals and exhibitions dedicated to the filmmaker”s work.

In 1993, the Moscow International Film Festival established the Andrei Tarkovsky Prize for “the best film in competition or out of competition program.

In 1996, the Andrei Tarkovsky Museum Center opened in the city of Yurievets, Ivanovo region.

In 2000, a memorial plaque was unveiled on the house at 4 Pyreva Street, Building 2 in Moscow, where Andrei Tarkovsky lived for the last nine years before emigrating. The author of the plaque is sculptor Anatoly Vasiliev.

In 2002, a bust of Andrei Tarkovsky was unveiled in Moscow”s Bolshoy Afanasievsky Lane. The monument was installed in front of the State Museum “Burganov”s House” on the day of the 70th anniversary of the director”s birth. The bust is made of bronze and stands on a 1.5 meter pedestal of black stone. It bears the inscription: “Andrei Tarkovsky”. The author of the monument is sculptor Alexander Burganov.

In 2004, a Historical and Cultural Museum dedicated to the work of Andrei Tarkovsky was opened in the village of Zavrazhye.

In 2006, a plaque was unveiled in Paris on the house where Andrei Tarkovsky spent the last months of his life.

In 2006, in Florence, a commemorative plaque was unveiled on the house on via San Niccolo, where Tarkovsky lived and worked from 1983 to 1986. The decision to erect the memorial plaque was made by the city council on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the director”s death.

In 2007, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the director”s birth, the International Film Festival “Mirror” named after Andrei Tarkovsky was established, which is held in the Ivanovo region.

On April 4, 2007 a Russian postal block dedicated to Arseny Tarkovsky and Andrei Tarkovsky was issued (CFA № 1171-1172). The block contains two stamps with their portraits and years of life. On the margin of the block is an inaccurate quotation from the poem by Arseny Tarkovsky “And I dreamt it, and I dreamt it…” (1974): “I don”t need a number: I was, and am, and will be.”

In 2009 a sculptural composition dedicated to three famous graduates – Tarkovsky, Shukshin and Shpalikov – was unveiled at the VGIK entrance. Three bronze figures are located on the steps to the main building of the Institute: Shukshin sitting, and Tarkovsky and Shpalikov standing next to each other. The author of the monument is sculptor Alexey Blagovestnov.

Since 2012, “Meetings with Tarkovsky” has been held annually in Tallinn.

Since 2013, the annual Tarkovsky readings on the theory and practice of cinema have been held in the settlement of Myasnoy in the Putyatinsky District of Ryazan Region, organized within the framework of the open cultural and educational project “Towards Tarkovsky.

In 2017, a monument to Tarkovsky was unveiled in Suzdal, sculpted by Maria Tikhonova.

There are streets in the cities of Yurievets, Sergiev Posad, and in Moscow – Boulevard of Andrei Tarkovsky.

In 2020 a documentary film “Andrei Tarkovsky. Cinema as a Prayer” about the life and work of the director, filmed by his son Andrei Tarkovsky, Jr.

In 2022, a monument to Andrei Tarkovsky was unveiled on the grounds of the Historical and Cultural Museum in the village of Zavrazhye, Kostroma region.

Films dedicated to Andrei Tarkovsky



  1. Тарковский, Андрей Арсеньевич
  2. Andrei Tarkovsky
  3. ^ Andrei Plakhov “ТАРКОВСКИЙ”. // Большая российская энциклопедия. Том 31. Москва, 2016, с. 674.
  4. ^ Peter Rollberg (2009). Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema. US: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 685–690. ISBN 978-0-8108-6072-8.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Andrej Tarkovskij // Nationalencyklopedin (швед.) — 1999.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Andrej Tarkovskij // — 2005.
  7. 1 2 Andrej Tarkovskij // Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana (кат.) — Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana, 1968.
  8. Плахов А. С. ТАРКОВСКИЙ // Большая российская энциклопедия. Том 31. Москва, 2016, стр. 674
  9. Sight & Sound: The 100 Greatest Films of All Time
  10. ^ A. Tarkovskij, Scolpire il tempo, Ubulibri, Milano, 1988, p. 59-60.
  11. Chion 2008 indique comme date de naissance celle du 10 avril 1932.
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