Category Archives: Tarkovsky

I bring people like me here

A stalker must not enter the room. A stalker must not enter the Zone with an ulterior motive. Yes, you’re right, I’m a louse. I haven’t done any good in this world, and I can’t do any. I couldn’t give anything even to my wife. I can’t have any friends either. But don’t take from me what’s mine! They’ve already taken everything from me back there, behind the barbed wire. So all that’s mine is here. You understand? Here! In the Zone! My happiness, my freedom, my self-respect, it’s all here! I bring people like me here, desperate and tormented. People who have nothing else to hope for.

— Tarkovsky, Stalker

The aim of art is to prepare a person for death.

— Tarkovsky

‘Have you come to pray for a baby too? Or to be spared them?’
‘I’m just looking.’
‘If there are any casual onlookers who aren’t supplicants, then nothing happens.’
‘What is supposed to happen?’
‘Whatever you like, whatever you need most. But you should at least kneel down.’

— Tarkovsky, Nostalgia

Tarkovsky and Bergman

A. The pressure Rublev is subject to is not an exception. An artist never works under ideal conditions. If they existed, his work wouldn’t exist, for the artist doesn’t live in a vacuum. Some sort of pressure must exist; the artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn’t look for harmony but would simply live in it. Art is born out of an ill-designed world. This is the issue in Andrei Rublev; the search for harmonic relationships among men, between art and life, between time and history. That’s what my film is all about.

Q. What is art?

A. Before defining art or any concept we must answer a far broader question. What’s the meaning of man’s life on earth? Maybe we are here to enhance ourselves spiritually. If our life tends to this spiritual enrichment, then art is a means to get there. This is in accordance with my definition of life. Art should help man in this process. Some say that art helps man to know the world like any other intellectual activity. I don’t believe in this possibility of knowing; I am almost an agnostic. Knowledge distracts us from our main purpose in life. The more we know the less we know; getting deeper, our horizon becomes narrower. Art enriches man’s own spiritual capabilities and he can then rise above himself to use what we call ‘free will’.



When film is not a document, it is dream. That is why Tarkovsky is the greatest of them all. He moves with such naturalness in the room of dreams. He doesn’t explain. What should he explain anyhow? He is a spectator, capable of staging his visions in the most unwieldy but, in a way, the most willing of media. All my life I have hammered on the doors of the rooms in which he moves so naturally. Only a few times have I managed to creep inside. Most of my conscious efforts have ended in embarrassing failure.

— Bergman, Laterna Magica