Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema

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Overview

The masters of Russian arts and letters are a prestigious fraternity that includes such renowned artists as Tolstoy, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich. But alongside these luminaries stands a lesser-known but equally revered figure, filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. Robert Bird offers in Andrei Tarkovsky an unprecedented investigation of Tarkovsky’s oeuvre and its far-reaching influence on world cinema.

Bird brings a novel approach to his dissection of Tarkovsky’s wholly original techniques and sensibilities, arranging the films into elemental categories of Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. Solaris, Ivan’s Childhood, Mirror, Nostalgia, Andrei Rublev, and Sacrifice all get their due here; through them, Bird explores how the filmmaker probed the elusive correlation between cinematic representation and a more primeval perception of the world. Though the book also considers Tarkovsky’s work in radio, theatre, and opera—as well as his work as an actor, screenwriter, and film theorist—Bird throughout keeps his focus firmly on Tarkovsky as a consummate filmmaker.
 
Anchored by a wealth of film stills and photographs, Andrei Tarkovsky is a must-read for all film buffs and admirers of European cinema.

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Editorial Reviews

The Times

"Impeccably erudite. . . . engrossing."--The Times

— Kevin Maher

Bookforum

"A dense, devoted appreciation."--Bookforum

— J. Hoberman

Cineaste

"Bird's study can be daunting . . .but he has Tarkovsky right."

— Louis Menashe

Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
"In his inspired and rigorous book, Robert Bird addresses the uniqueness of Tarkovksy's cinema through a detailed exploration of the medium's constituent parts, revealing in the process the intricate ways in which film can radically shift our vision . . . This profound and eloquent book is a feat of regard, intuition and clarity."–Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
P. Adams Sitney

"A major contribution to the literature on the filmmaker. Bird is thoroughly familiar with Russian sources unavailable to English readers and he has a remarkable sensitivity to the nuances of cinematic construction. His writing is lucid and consistently illuminates Tarkovsky's central preoccupation: 'the tragic failure of spirituality . . . in conflict with its natural conditions.'"
The Times - Kevin Maher

"Impeccably erudite. . . . engrossing."
Bookforum - J. Hoberman

"A dense, devoted appreciation."
Cineaste - Louis Menashe

"Bird's study can be daunting . . .but he has Tarkovsky right."
Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
"In his inspired and rigorous book, Robert Bird addresses the uniqueness of Tarkovksy's cinema through a detailed exploration of the medium's constituent parts, revealing in the process the intricate ways in which film can radically shift our vision . . . This profound and eloquent book is a feat of regard, intuition and clarity."–Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861893420
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,478,461
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Bird is assistant professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the College at the University of Chicago, and the author of Andrei Rublev.
 
 

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Table of Contents


Abbreviations
Introduction: Elements of Cinema
 
earth  1  The System
          2  Space
          3  Screen
fire     4  Word and Image
          5  Story
          6  Imaginary
water  7  Sensorium
           8 Time
           9 Shot
air     10 Atmosphere 
 
Chronology
References
Filmography/Credits
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements
Index
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