Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (Russian: Андре́й Арсе́ньевич Тарко́вский, IPA: [ɐnˈdrʲej ɐrˈsʲenʲjɪvʲɪtɕ tɐrˈkofskʲɪj]; 4 April 1932 – 29 December 1986) was a Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director.
Tarkovsky's films include Ivan's Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), Mirror (1975), and Stalker (1979). He directed the first five of his seven feature films in the Soviet Union; his last two films, Nostalghia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986), were produced in Italy and Sweden, respectively. His work is characterized by long takes, unconventional dramatic structure, distinctly authored use of cinematography, and spiritual and metaphysical themes.
Tarkovsky's works Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Mirror, and Stalker are regularly listed among the greatest films of all time. His contribution to cinema was so influential that works done in a similar way are described as Tarkovskian. Ingmar Bergman said of him:
Tarkovsky for me is the greatest (director), the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.
Contrarily, however, Bergman conceded the truth in the claim made by a critic who wrote that "with Autumn Sonata Bergman does Bergman", adding, "Tarkovsky began to make Tarkovsky films, and that Fellini began to make Fellini films [...] Buñuel nearly always made Buñuel films."
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