- Actors: Oleg Yankovskly, Alexksandr Kaidonovsky, Margarita Terekhiva Erland Josephson
- Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky
- Format: Subtitled, PAL
- Language: Russian
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 7
- Studio: Artificial Eye
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- ASIN: B005LKH5BG
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
The Andrei Tarkovsky Collection
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(Jan 01, 2011)
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The Andrei Tarkovsky Collection [DVD]  Erland Josephson (Actor), Oleg Yankovskly (Actor), Andrei Tarkovsky Product Description Cited as being one of the most famous Soviet filmmakers since Sergei M Eisenstein. For the first time ever on DVD, all seven of Tarkovsky's masterpieces presented together in one deluxe set for the very first time. Titles featured are - Ivan's Childhood (1962) Andrei Rublev (1966) Solaris (1972) The Mirror (1975) Stalker (1979) Nostalgia (1983) The Sacrifice (1986)
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How shall I describe these films if you have never seen them? It is an impossible task which I will not even attempt. Perhaps, it is wiser to quote from a director who influenced (and was influenced by) Tarkovsky. Ingmar Bergman, upon seeing the original cut of Andrei Rublev without subtitles(!), proclaimed Tarkovsky to be one of the greatest directors. Bergman later took his case even further: "Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream." The admiration is mutual. In his last film The Sacrifice, Tarkovsky paid respect to Sweden's famed director.
If you are on this page, likely these films need no introduction.(*1) -- The following information might prove useful for your purchase decision.
1. This box by Artificial Eye (AE) contains all of Tarkovsky's 7 feature length films and 1 documentary "Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky" by Dmitry Trakovsky.
2. All DVDs are PAL Region 2 encoded. You will need an all-region DVD player, like Philips DVD Player, Oppo pre-blu-ray DVD players, or other custom-modified players, like modified Oppo BD-83.
3. The main problem, as I see this set, is the PAL-speedup(*2), which causes the total run time to be shorter. Here is the comparison chart. (All time approx.)
Film | Running Time (director's cut) | AE Edition Running Time
Ivan's Childhood | 95 min | 90 min
Andrei Rublev (original) | 205 min | NA
(revised) | 186 min | 174 min
Solaris | 165 min | 159 min
The Mirror | 107 min | 101 min
Stalker | 163 min | 154 min
Nostalghia | 125 min | 120 min
The Sacrifice | 149 min | 142 min
However, the shortening in Andrei Rublev and Stalker goes far above 4%. Is there an explanation? I want to know!
4. The video quality is in general very good, and in many cases best among the available DVDs. For example, AE's The Mirror is hands-down the best transfer I've ever seen. Andrei Rublev has better picture quality than Criterion's, whose source is a personal copy from Martin Scorsese.(*3) The Stalker is also among the best transfer(s) available. The sound has no problem except for Nostalghia, which has on-and-off crackles throughout. The subtitles, especially for the first 5 films (in Russian), seems at times incomplete, as sometimes no subtitles are displayed while the conversations are going. Nostalghia (in Italian) and The Sacrifice (in Swedish) seem to fare better in the subtitles department.
Anyway, the films as presented are still unforgettable masterpieces. In particular, The Mirror, Andrei Rublev and The Stalker are ranked by the British Film Institute (Sight and Sound 2012 poll) among the 30 Greatest Films of All Time.(*4) Get it before it disappears.
(*1) As you might have guessed, the Wikipedia provides pretty good information on Tarkovsky's films. I was able to contribute a little bit there as well.
(*2) PAL system shows 25 frames per second instead of 24. Thus, the running time from unconverted sources is about 4% shorter.
(*3) Two prints seem to have VERY slightly different ratios, with AE's picture slightly slimmer and taller.
(*4) This is distinction shared by no others. If one goes beyond 30, then only 3 other directors have 3 or 4 films ranked in the top 50: Francis Coppola (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather I & II), Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Word, Gertrud), and Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, Contempt, Pierrot le fou, Histoire(s) du cinéma).