Through film clips, journal entries, and personal musings, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH is renowned French filmmaker Chris Marker's homage to his friend and colleague, Andrei Tarkovsky, who died in 1986.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, and certainly the most important post-War Russian filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky has achieved a mythic status with such visionary masterpieces as Andrei Rublev, Solaris and Stalker. His stylistic idiosyncrasies: minimal plots, fragmented narrative, and long takes have become staples of the modern art film. His confrontations with the Soviet government, the censorship of his films, and his eventual exile only contributed to his mystique.
Through close readings of Tarksovsky's films - including rare scenes from his student film (an adaptation of Hemingway's The Killers) and a practically unknown production of Boris Goudonov - Marker attempts to locate Tarkovsky in his work. Parallels drawn by Marker between Tarkovksy's life and films offer an original insight into the reclusive director. Personal anecdotes from Tarkovsky's writings - from his prophetic meeting with Boris Pasternak (author of Dr. Zhivago) to an encounter with the KGB on the streets of Paris (he thought they were coming to kill him) - pepper the film.
With behind-the-scenes footage of Tarkovsky obsessively commanding his entire crew (including famed Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist, during the filming of a complicated sequence from his final film The Sacrifice), and candid moments of Tarkovsky with his friends and family, bedridden but still working on the editing of his final film, ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH is a personal and loving portrait of the monumental filmmaker.
"**** (4 stars). A masterpiece! Marker's ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREI ARSENEVICH [is] 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. The video interweaves biography and autobiography with poetic and political insight in a manner that seldom works as well as it does here."—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader (click on the link below to read the full review)
2001 DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival
2000 Berlin Film Festival
2000 San Francisco Film Festival
2000 Toronto Film Festival
2000 Telluride Film Festival
"A brilliant appreciation of the last great Soviet director, Andrei Tarkovsky. No less then Jean-Luc Godard or Martin Scorsese, Marker is an original and perceptive exegete of other filmmakers.... The most sustained and heartfelt tribute one filmmaker has paid another."—Jim Hoberman, Village Voice
"A sublime meditation on the poetic, surreal universe of Tarkovsky."—Los Angeles Times
"Fascinating! What makes Chris Marker's documentary such an invaluable gift is that his insights into the director are so accessible - and so provocative. Not only is it a remarkable analysis of Tarkvosky's brilliance; it's also a showcase for Marker's."—Time Out New York
"A superb analysis of Tarkovsky's lyrical vocabulary. You'll be hard pressed to find a more thorough explication of Tarkovsky's vision than the one provided by Marker here."—Dallas Observer
"A film that defies categorization as a documentary, or even as a 'film essay' ...A love letter is more like it: personal, passionate, unguarded. The meat of the film is a dazzling montage, drawn mostly from Tarkovsky's work, but reorganized into illuminating new patterns... inspiring us to make our own observations and connections."—LA Weekly
"Even those of us who find Tarkovsky's films more tedious than tantalizing will appreciate the care and love that went into this reflection on the man and his work. I can't remember any film capturing an artist more intimately..."—Detroit Free Press
"Chris Marker's informative tribute to the late Andrei Tarkovsky is an important contribution to film scholarship."—Variety