Monday, August 28, 2006
Tarkovsky's films are cinematic triathalons. They exhaust me with their glacial pacing and suffocating sense of gloom. And yet, I keep watching them because they're magisterial and challenging.
The Mirror is Tarkovsky's attempt at autobiography à la 8 1/2, but instead of Fellini's witty Mediterranean joi de vivre in the face of life's little anguishes, we get punishing, Slavic ruminations and a dour absence of humor, with a bit of Bergman's Persona mixed in. It's fantastic, however, with many beautiful and astonishing dream sequences. Recommended only for viewing with Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers easily available.
Please note: The quality of this DVD is wretched. There are extended scenes of dialogue left unsubtitled. The faded over-bright transfer only hints at how visually amazing the original film must have been.