Whenever I wake up from a half remembered dream I always wish I could go back and explore just what my subconscious was trying to tell me, or come to terms with. Mirror is a film deserving of multiple watches, it needs it to come to terms with its architecture, to distill any meaning from it.
Usually when I turn on a Tarkovsky film, my first thoughts are “Holy smokes, where does he even come up with these gliding shots and this still framing?” but ultimately feel empty and like I’ve missed something everyone else has seen. But not with this film, my absolute favourite of his works I have seen so far.
What we experience are various abstract images that comes from a man who realizes that he is moments away from death. The metaphor of the title is the human subconscious, but mostly it’s the sensibility of be guided into a dream.
Nature plays an important part in the visual palette of the film. There is a predominance in the way Tarkovsky pushes forward landscapes and scenery. It stands in sharp contrast with the haunting and jarring dream sequences we are given.
The smallest movement of light is choreographed precisely. A shadow across someone’s face, the wind in the trees – these are not simply images of those things, but the ungraspable nature of life, regret, beauty, memory.
Of course, real life is never so rich nor so intense – only momentarily so. The film wants to distil as much of that precious beauty as possible in a number of disjointed moments, coloured through memory and imagination, from childhood through to the point of death.
Biography, Drama, World Cinema | U | Curzon Artificial Eye | 25th July 2016 (UK) | Dir.Andrei Tarkovsky | Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev | Buy:Mirror [DVD]