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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Mirror (Zerkalo -Russian) is one of the best movies of the World cinematograph. Remembrance of dying man about his childhood, WW2, his mother, and many tiny details of his... Read morePublished 1 month ago by BOOKANORDER
Seldom does poetry make strict literal sense, nor does it intend to. Rather, through a combination of careful word choice and syllabic cadence, a poet can evoke emotions and convey... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Charles Camp
The Mirror is said to be a film that is not easy to understand. I say that it does not have to be understood to be enjoyed. This is a very beautiful, cerebral, and emotive film. Read morePublished 9 months ago by rbrogan3
This movie is a bit of a mystery like many other Tarkovsky's films. It is meditative and visually stunning. It is difficult to describe in words. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Sophie B.