Largely consisting of footage filmed in the mid-80’s, a reunion (after five years apart) of Andrei Tarkovsky and his family as the director lay deathly ill, also supervising final picture and edit on his final film, The Sacrifice, and earlier behind-the-scenes footage of the making of that film’s most impressive single shot seven months earlier in Sweden, as the house burned down.
Rivette/Daney reference: “The tracking shot is no longer a moral issue but a metaphysical one.” Marker also delves into Tarkovsky’s films (including the student short of The Killers), discusses the Russian mysticism and other elements, but goes way beyond showing a bunch of images and telling us how beautiful they are, which would be incredibly easy to do with Tarkovsky films. It’s under an hour long but with plenty of room to breathe – not cramming in as many facts about Tarkovsky as the hour would allow, which would reduce his work to trivia.
Tarkovsky directs, with an inset of what he’s directing: three figures in Sweden, bringing briefly to mind the opening of Sans Soleil
Rosenbaum called it “the best single piece of Tarkovsky criticism I know of, clarifying the overall coherence of his oeuvre while leaving all the mysteries of his films intact.”