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The Mirror (1975)

Margarita Terekhova , Filipp Yankovskiy , Andrei Tarkovsky  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev, Oleg Yankovskiy, Nikolay Grinko
  • Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Writers: Andrei Tarkovsky, Aleksandr Misharin, Arseniy Tarkovskiy
  • Producers: Erik Waisberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Russian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 21, 2000
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305744114
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Mirror" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Andrei Tarkovsky, the acclaimed master of Soviet cinema, takes a moving and personal turn with this striking meditation on life in Russia during the bleak days of WWII. The Mirror is not just the display of a film director at the peak of his unique powers. As an homage to the innocence of childhood, it tells an enigmatic tale that is both gripping and horrifying. Tarkovsky uses his own coming-of-age experiences, himself "mirrored," to convey the mood and action that dominated a country ravaged by war. Through a fascinating two-tiered time frame, the director blends his own harsh childhood with an adult life that is troubled and broken. Powerful images - a mother faced with political terror, a divorcing couple's quarrel - are underscored by Tarkovsky's masterful manipulation of film stocks and recorded sound. The Mirror becomes a stream of consciousness: nostalgic visions of childhood mixed with slow-motion dream sequences and stark WWII newsreels. Tarkovsky's The Mirror is ultimately as much a window through a filmmaker's gaze as it is a reflection of his personal passions and ideals. Through this essential film, viewers may find the puzzles that provide the key to director's other works, including, The Sacrifice and Solaris.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
171 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, terrible DVD October 27, 2002
By Vlad
Format:DVD
Having watched this movie since I was in my early teens, I have bought the DVD published by KINO ON VIDEO, and oh my, Andrei Tarkovsky must be rolling in his grave knowing what they did to his masterpiece.
For those of you who don't speak Russian, I feel very very very bad for you, because of the terrible translation of the movie. Aside from the poems in the movie, that were previously translated by the professionals, the translation sounds as though it was done by fifth-graders. And not just because it is done in the high-school level English. HALF of the speech is not translated at all--a lot of important chatter is completely missing in the subtitles. Many things are oversimplified and revealed, instead of letting the viewer dig them out him/herself. Those of you who don't understand Russian are doomed to be tortured by such translation and never to reveal the true beauty and meaning of the original script. Having read all of the subtitles, I understood a lot of things in a wrong way, different from the way they were intended in the first place, and had zero satisfaction from the movie. Thank [deity] I'm Russian.
The ugly yellow subtitles can NOT be removed--they will stay on the screen forever while I watch the movie and irritate and upset me with the abovementioned crimes against Art.
The supposedly "black and white" scenes, which originally had a silver-ish quality to them, and some were in sepia, are now in plain B&W a la Fellini's La Strada. I used to have a feeling that the bushes were made out of steel and silver, but not on this DVD.
DVD has ZERO extras, and thank [deity] they divided the movie into chapters for easy scene access, but even there they managed to screw up.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-have! March 12, 2000
By "hakob"
Format:DVD
Andrei Tarkovsky's THE MIRROR (1974) is his most personal and artistically daring film--and to me, ultimately his most moving.
A semi-autobiographical work, it interweaves poems, dramatic scenes, dreams and newsreels to evoke the inner symbolic world of the protagonist, his nostalgia for the past and his troubled relationships with his wife and mother in the present. At the same time it is a meditation on the nature of Russia, from the nation's role as mediator between the East and West to specific historical events such as the Stalinist purges of the mid-to-late 1930s and World War II. Indeed, few works of art say more about the Russian people with such economy.
The cinematography, by Georgii Rerberg, is so richly detailed that it frequently takes your breath away. Many of the shots are deliberately reminiscent of paintings by Breughel and Leonardo da Vinci. The soundtrack is equally beautiful, layered with natural sounds, electronic music, classical music (by composers such as Bach and Pergolesi) and poems (written and recited by the director's father Arsenii Tarkovsky, a noted Russian poet).
The film undoubtedly benefits from its superb cast, which includes many popular and highly respected Russian actors. The voice of the Narrator is played by Innokenty Smoktunovsky; Margarita Terekhova plays both the Mother and the Wife. Other actors make indelible impressions in smaller roles: Anatoly Solonitsyn (the Doctor), Oleg Yankovsky (the Father), Alla Demidova and Nikolai Grinko (the mother's colleagues at the printing factory). For those who speak Russian, it's a pleasure just to hear their finely tuned dialogue.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed Beauty January 19, 2003
Format:DVD
Be sure to read Vlad's review of the shoddy quality of this DVD. As a non-Russian speaker, I am essentially spared the awful knowledge of just what has been done to this film.
At first viewing, unless you are an incredibly perspicacious viewer, this movie will be utterly baffling, partly because Tarkovsky has gone to such lengths to blur past and present. The same actress plays the protagonist's ex-wife in the present and mother in the past and the same actor plays the protagonist's son in the present and himself in the past. Sometimes the present is in color, the past in black & white; having established this expectation, Tarkovsky then reverses it on you later. Yet other times, dreams are in color and reality is in that tantalizing shade of sepia-color-black & white that Tarkovsky has used elsewhere (especially in "Stalker").
In fact, I was so baffled when I first saw the film that I simply gave up trying to follow the narrative and basked in the intense beauty of the film work. The dream sequence of the mother washing her hair, for instance, is utterly mesmerizing. The long shot that carries us from a table out to witness a burning building is breathtaking in all of the various reflections and reversals of angles it uses along the way. The final shot of an old women and two children walking into a field as the camera pulls slowly into deeper and deeper woods until finally the people are completely concealed by the trees often chokes me up, and I couldn't tell you why. Even the opening scene, simply a conversation on a fence by a field, is an exquisitely choreographed ballet of cinematography.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great camera work and it doesn't look like any other movie I have ever seen.
Published 20 hours ago by Fred Weisenmiller
3.0 out of 5 stars Intense film based on personal reminiscences by Tarkovsky
According to many, The Mirror is Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky's best film. Certainly it is his most personal. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andres C. Salama
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like it's all happening before.
Ignat, the narrator's son says : Electricity, It's like it's all happening before but I haven't been here before. Read more
Published 7 months ago by lily t.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mirror
The stagey look of the movie is startling, compelling, and the story engaging, but I wasn't exactly carried away by the quick-trip travel, which causes some confusion.
Published 9 months ago by Larry Woiwode
1.0 out of 5 stars boring
Despite the other reviews, I found this film boring at best. Keep your money. It is better spent on other things, like a root canal.
Published 10 months ago by surly
1.0 out of 5 stars The mirror
I love this film (one of my favorite movies if all time), but version I rented on amazon was not watchable. Very bad quality/resolution, practically not watchable because of that. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Nikola Duravcevic
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect in every way!
I have seen complaints about the transfer and the lack of extras. Well, I don't know if RUSCICO has different versions of this film, but I'm very happy with all of it! Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sambson
1.0 out of 5 stars Review for International Film Forum VHS tape
This is one of the worst transfers I have ever watched. It is clearly from a muti-generation copy of the film and the image is blurry and indistinct. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Phillip A. Lecso
1.0 out of 5 stars RUSSIA WITH NUCLEAR EXPLOSION
nobody here is of the one that is soviet oblast time to mock in a bird of that american phraseology. Read more
Published 20 months ago by GCD
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
This movie is too difficult, complex, and important to adequately summarize or analyze here. This is Tarkovsky's greatest movie and I think it's one of the greatest movies of all... Read more
Published 20 months ago by S. Hager
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