Mirror ★★★★★

“We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it’s a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it. " Tarkovsky

l watched it twice, it seems this has from his life and that of others he knew, from historical events, from dreams, from literature, from painting and from his fathers poetry. Memories and identity of man and nation. The mother and the wife, the father and the son.

Removing the usual narrative exposition, the events come and go, it is not the concept or the telling, it is not even the memory itself but rather a feel of it. The Mirror has incredible dream sequences, gorgeous camera movement, the most perfect slow motion I have ever seen, and sublime images, but it also holds back, trusts that we are wide awake and aware enough to see how the smallest things may evoke something, a lamp burning out; that book that fell behind her as she turned, was that accidental? Tarkovsky trusts that in being completely personal and subjective to himself, the film will in turn connect with our life on a more profound level. It’s the opposite of pop, or fashion, its Art. It is a film that I found at times frustrating, slow and even boring, and yet it had a very strong cumulative effect that had to do with an understanding of how to achieve something more with cinema; if you are able to allow and observe in your mind the subtleties of this film, you can also apply it to your life, synchronicity becomes manifest, a leaf falling as you walk by a tree is part of your story, do you see it?

The Mirror has faith in the ability of cinema to communicate at a very high level, beyond symbolism, even beyond beauty (though it is filled with it), like poetry transcending each meaning of the word, using language to communicate something beyond itself more completely; here cinema goes beyond itself too, into my life, showing me a way to look at everything around me in the way of the true artist, of the mystic. No other film has ever done that for me, how powerful. Tarkovsky trusts himself, us, and the capacity of the medium, with courage; and when an artist with his depth and sensitivity does that we should be thankful, there's not enough of that in cinema.

Thanks for the recommendation Alexis !

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