As documentaries on film-makers go, this is exemplary. The late Russian director's style and creative methods are illustrated, respectively, by clips from The Sacrifice and by shots of him on location in Sweden for that film; rehearsing his actors, functioning as his own camera operator during practice shots, discussing points of design and lighting with ace lensman Sven Nykvist, and most endearingly, revealing himself to be possessed of an easy sense of humour. But Tarkovsky is most widely revered for his spirituality and his ideas, which are manifested here in readings from his own book Sculpting in Time, and in excerpts from a lecture delivered to adoring students and fans. Indeed, where Leszczylowski comes up trumps is in the way he shows Tarkovsky turning theory into practice. Inevitably, given the man, the accent is on Art and Poetry, and it's arguable that there are too many shots of him in characteristic 'great director' pose, framing a scene with his hands and looking suitably intense. But overall, the film is to be commended for its objectivity.
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Cast and crew