Andrey Tarkovsky, the genius of modern Russian cinema—hailed by Ingmar Bergman as "the most important director of our time"—died an exile in Paris in December 1986. In Sculpting in Time, he has left his artistic testament, a remarkable revelation of both his life and work. Since Ivan's Childhood won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1962, the visionary quality and totally original and haunting imagery of Tarkovsky's films have captivated serious movie audiences all over the world, who see in his work a continuation of the great literary traditions of nineteenth-century Russia. Many critics have tried to interpret his intensely personal vision, but he himself always remained inaccessible.
In Sculpting in Time, Tarkovsky sets down his thoughts and his memories, revealing for the first time the original inspirations for his extraordinary films—Ivan's Childhood, Andrey Rublyov, Solaris, The Mirror, Stalker, Nostalgia, and The Sacrifice. He discusses their history and his methods of work, he explores the many problems of visual creativity, and he sets forth the deeply autobiographical content of part of his oeuvre—most fascinatingly in The Mirror and Nostalgia. The closing chapter on The Sacrifice, dictated in the last weeks of Tarkovsky's life, makes the book essential reading for those who already know or who are just discovering his magnificent work.
Chapter I: The beginning
Chapter II: Art—a yeaming for the ideal
Chapter III: Imprinted time
Chapter IV: Cinema's destined role
Chapter V: The film image
Time, rhythm and editing
Scenario and shooting script
The film's graphic realisation
The film actor
Music and noises
Chapter VI: The author in search of an audience
Chapter VII: The artist's responsibility
Chapter VIII: After Nostalgia
Chapter IX: The Sacrifice
"If Sculpting in Time could be distilled to a single message, it would be this: Content and conscience must come before technique—for any artist in any art form."
Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Learning the language of cinema in Tarkovsky's films and in this stunning memoir, we reacquaint ourselves with art's function: in the author's words, 'to turn and loosen the human soul.'"