Andrei Tarkovsky and the Art of Creating What You Mean
Once again adapting his narrative to his subject, Kogonada offers a poetic and hypnotic video essay on Andrei Tarkovsky with Auteur in Space. The piece focuses on Solaris and how Tarkovsky’s refusal of the genre’s concept made his take on science-fiction as singular is it can be, reinforcing instead his position as an auteur.
Having never studied film academically, debates between genres and auteurs feel foreign to me -and often a game of mind to compensate from a lack (or a full absence) of creation. But when makers use them and defend ideas and ideals through their actions, it is time to listen and ponder.
Obviously the point is not to say ‘Tarkovsky was right, genres don’t exist! Long live auteurs!‘ But rather If I think genres (don’t) exist, what are the practical implications in my work?
In Tarkovsky’s case, his belief lead him to take a radically different approach to what was expected from a science-fiction film and as you can see from the quote above (extracted from the video essay below), his stance had practical repercussions in the conceptualization of Solaris (and any of his movies).
Watch the full video essay below, a wonderful illustration of what creating what you mean can lead to:
There is nothing more powerful than a cohesive mind. Auteur in Space is also a perfect illustration of one of the advice Tarkovsky gave to young filmmakers:
It would be unthinkable today to hear those words from a filmmaker other than a documentarians, which shows how much Times have changed and explains the romantic nostalgia that surrounds filmmakers like Tarkovsky, Truffaut, Kurosawa and the likes.
They had beliefs, and those beliefs fed their Art.
If you’ve enjoyed this video essay from Kogonada, you might appreciate these two as well: Sounds of Aronofsky: a Video to Listen to Closely & Watch: “Malick // Fire & Water”, an Homage to Malick’s Earthly Vision.