Mirror (1974)

Andrei Tarkovsky
Most films inspire some lengthy explanation of what I saw or what they wanted me to see or what you thought you saw and how your interpretation is indeed valid, though not quite as valid as mine. Well, none of this is possible with Mirror. Instead, I will simply catalog some of my reactions to certain things in the film.
  1. Hhh….hhh….hhh….hhh-karkhov.
  2. Notice how the fence bobs up and down a little under her weight. Foreshadowing of little excitements to come.
  3. How the well-bucket also bobs up and down on the rope and how real is the water splashing on the already saturated ground.
  4. The juxtaposition of the burning barn and “just rained” as well as the apartment which is both flooding and on fire. Obvious but no less effective for it.
  5. The way individual hair fibers become visible in between thicker clumps as they’re pulled apart. This is what is meant by “description of truth.” This is Nabokov’s “square echo” of a car door slamming.
  6. The Spanish music as she dances. How it is taken away from us suddenly, painfully, as if by some misanthropic disc jockey, and then given back to us—in spades.
  7. The montage scenes, whether you support the technique or no, are immensely moving to watch.
  8. The child of the Stalingrad blockade—the entire scene.
  9. Ooops—going back—the reflection of light off the brown wooden floor n his Moscow apartment. The plastered walls, deep set window embrasures and curtains hung by a simple metal bar.
  10. The visual of the the superbright streetlight in the already brightly lit “running through the street” scene. And also inside the print factory.
And this is just the first thirty minutes. When people say the first thirty minutes are some of the most beautiful filmmaking ever, what they’re really saying is they’ve only seen the first thirty minutes.

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