Compiled from different media over a long period of time, with essays on a wide range of film topics, Sculpting in Time has no single theme. Nevertheless, Tarkovsky is clearly preoccupied with several ideas. He insists upon abandoning commercial, consumer-type filmmaking. (One wonders, as one reviewer suggested, whether Tarkovsky could have found the money to film Andrey Rublyov in the West, or whether Shakespeare was less an artist because he desired in part to entertain.) Tarkovsky writes, “It’s only possible to communicate with the audience if one ignores that eighty per cent of people who, for some reason, have gotten into their heads that we are supposed to entertain them.” It is the duty of the director to tell people the truth, he says: “Any one who wants can look into my films as into a mirror in which he will see himself.”
In this quest for truth, a director needs total freedom, including the right to alter the script, if necessary; after all, writers write screenplays. Tarkovsky relates film to poetry, not to the linear stories of prose. While the art of film lies in the ability to communicate, cinematic art must be separated from literature. Although the reader perceives words subjectively as the viewer perceives images in cinema, there is no place for literary symbolism in film. As with music and poetry, film should be free of ideology. Similarly, Tarkovsky sees film as akin to religious faith, a theme explored in...
(The entire section is 1502 words.)
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