Friday, April 9, 2010

Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky by Dmitry Trakovsky

The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good.
--Andrei Tarkovsky

On April 7th and 8th Absinthe collaborated with Oakland Community College to present two films by and about the great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. Last night we screened Tarkovsky’s autobiographical film The Mirror (1975) and the previous night we presented the documentary Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky by the filmmaker Dmitry Trakovsky. We were very fortunate to have Dmitry with us on Wednesday night to talk about his film.

In Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky, the filmmaker explores Tarkovsky’s continued influence through a series of interviews that take Trakovsky from Los Angeles, to Italy and Sweden, and eventually to rural Russia. In Florence, he speaks with the director’s son, Andrei Andreevich Tarkovsky, who shares memories of his father.

Dmitry also interviews Erland Josephson, the renowned Swedish actor, about the two films he made with Tarkovsky: Nostalghia and The Sacrifice.

The documentary includes many other interviews and clips from Tarkovsky’s films and is an excellent introduction to the work of a director whose films are just as significant and moving today as when they were released. Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky will definitely make you want to revisit Tarkovsky’s films or experience them for the first time.

I definitely recommend checking out Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky if it screens near you. And be sure to speak with the filmmaker. Dmitry Trakovsky shares a lot of fascinating anecdotes about Tarkovsky and the making of the film. He also has a very generous spirit and a great sense of humor.

Trakovsky was born in 1985 in Moscow, and grew up in suburban Los Angeles after his family immigrated to the United States in 1987. He recently founded a small production company, Trakovsky Film LLC and you can learn more about him and the film at

Some upcoming screenings of Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky include:

Northwest Film Forum, Seattle
Sunday, April 18, 5PM

Cinecenta, University Of Victoria
Tuesday, April 20, 3PM

Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
Wednesday, April 28, Time TBA

European Film College, Ebeltoft, Denmark
Sunday, May 2, 2PM

De Spiegel, Heerlen, Holland
Thursday, May 6, 8PM

Monaco Charity Film Festival
Tuesday, May 11, Noon

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