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Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (Андрей Тарковский) (April 4, 1932 - December 28, 1986) was a Russian movie director, writer, and actor.

He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmakers of the Soviet era in Russia and the greatest of the latter part of the 20th century. His films are characterised by a sense of spiritual quest, extremely long takes, and memorable images of exceptional beauty. Recurring motifs in his films are reflections and running water, with characters re-appearing in the foreground of long panning movements of the camera.

Tarkovsky was a product of the golden era of Soviet arts education. He received a classical education in Moscow, followed by a rigorous training over five years at the VGIK film school. Although the Christian symbolism of his films led to prevarication and occasional suppression of the finished product on the part of the Soviet authorities, the Mosfilm studio system enabled him to make films that would not have been commercially viable in the West. However, Tarkovsky's principal complaint about his treatment by the authorities was that he had many more ideas in him than he was allowed to bring to the screen, and in 1984, after shooting Nostalghia in Italy, he decided not to return to Russia. After this he made only one more film, The Sacrifice, a European co-production filmed in Sweden, before dying of cancer in Paris at the early age of 54.

Andrei Tarkovsky was buried in a graveyard for Russian émigrés in the town of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, Île-de-France, France.

Selected filmography