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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tarkovsky - Cinema as Poetry

As must be pretty obvious to any Dead Beaters out there. I am a little preoccupied at the moment with cinema. Let old D.B. explain. We are all in this together: writers, painters, film makers, visual artists, sculptors etc. All in the business of fashioning our experience of the world from some concrete substance. In Dead Beat’s case, words.

However the three dimensional form, the shadow and the light, the eye beholden are all the same. We are all working in form. Form as a vehicle to express the abstract. Whatever way we shape it these forms inform each other - are to Dead Beat’s mind, one and the same. That does not mean that there are not different attitudes and approaches, but ultimately they converge. And so Dead Beat will persist in his personal study of form in a multi-dimensional way.
Thus it should surprise no one that Dead Beat decided to track down Andrei Tarkovsky. Tarkovsky is considered the most famous Russian filmmaker since Eisenstein. He was deeply committed to cinema as poetry. In his book Sculpting in Time, he argued that cinema’s most important feature was its capacity for capturing time. To create the effect of the passage of time upon his audience he favoured individual shots with long takes. Landscape, nature, was of great concern for him as was the necessity to place his characters in a contemplative integration with their surrounds. Not for him the plot-driven what will happen next, but the now.

"In all my films it seemed to me important to try to establish the links which connect people (other than those of the flesh), those links which connect me with humanity, and all of us with everything that surrounds us. I need to have a sense that I myself am in this world as a successor, that there is nothing accidental about my being there." (Tarkovsky in Sculpting in Time, 1984)

Dead Beat remembers the words of Berger (See The History of Reason): “Prose is far more trusting than poetry. Poetry speaks to the immediate wound.”

Get out your cameras and remember, take long shots only.

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