Through close readings of Tarksovsky's films - including rare scenes from his student film (an adaptation of Hemingway's The Killers) and a practically unknown production of Boris Goudonov - Marker attempts to locate Tarkovsky in his work. Parallels drawn by Marker between Tarkovksy's life and films offer an original insight into the reclusive director. Personal anecdotes from Tarkovsky's writings - from his prophetic meeting with Boris Pasternak (author of Dr. Zhivago) to an encounter with the KGB on the streets of Paris (he thought they were coming to kill him) - pepper the film.
With behind-the-scenes footage of Tarkovsky obsessively commanding his entire crew (including famed Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist, during the filming of a complicated sequence from his final film The Sacrifice), and candid moments of Tarkovsky with his friends and family, bedridden but still working on the editing of his final film, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH is a personal and loving portrait of the monumental filmmaker.
IN THE DARK by Sergei Dvortsevoy
An elderly blind man lives alone in the suburbs of Moscow. His one companion is a clever white cat who continually frustrates his work netting the string bags that he takes to the street to give away to passers-by.
THREE SONGS ABOUT MOTHERLAND by Marina Goldovskaya
The film depicts a dramatic collision between the past, the present, and the future in contemporary Russia by focusing on three different cities in this vast land. In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a still-living symbol of Soviet industrialization in the 1930s, older Russian citizens speak about their youth, when they felt part of something bigger than themselves: building "a city of communist dreams" in the middle of nowhere. Moscow bids farewell to Anna Politkovskaya, the fearless journalist and human rights activist who was assassinated for her political activity. And residents of Khanty-Mansijsk, one of the main centers of Siberia's budding oil industry, speak about their beloved fairy tale-like town, where the communist dream has been swept away by new aspirations for a prosperous future.
A brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky. No less then Jean-Luc Godard or Martin Scorsese, Marker is an original and perceptive exegete of other filmmakers.... The most sustained and heartfelt tribute one filmmaker has paid another. --J. Hoberman, Village Voice
A film that defies categorization as a documentary, or even as a 'film essay'... A love letter is more like it: personal, passionate, unguarded. --LA Weekly