Directed By Andrei Tarkovsky

A Swedish documentary about the making of the great Soviet filmmaker’s last feature, The Sacrifice, by Michal Leszczykowski, the film’s editor. This mixture of footage and interviews with actors and technicians (including cinematographer Sven Nykvist) produces a fascinating and intelligent portrait. Of particular interest is a detailed account of the production difficulties attending the remarkable ten-minute take that served as The Sacrifice’s penultimate shot, during which an entire house was burned to the ground. Technical problems sabotaged the first take, and the house had to be reconstructed so it could be burned down a second time. Tarkovsky’s dark mysticism and moodiness are respected by this documentary rather than intruded upon, but the overall insights into his working methods remain pertinent (1988). (JR)

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