Rachit Sidana actor who has died


The International Tarkovsky Cinema Festival Zerkalo in Ivanovo, Russia (14-21 June 2019)


A film festival called Spiegel (Russian Zerkalo), one of Andrei Tarkovsky's films, has been taking place in the Soviet director's region of origin for thirteen years. Led by the experienced film critic Andrej Plachov, it brings together international films that are in a certain tradition or further development of Tarkovsky's art every year. In addition, there is a detailed show of current Russian filmmaking and many other exhibitions, readings and film talks. For two years now, the festival has been taking place in the inconspicuous but surprisingly varied city of Ivanovo, the "Russian Manchester", a former textile workers' town where people are said to have loved to go out for brides and which, having been the most church-rich town in Tsarist Russia, is the town with the first became Soviet and fully communist. Early Constructivism, many old wall paintings and newly built churches dominate the city today and in the imaginary center is the old Lodz cinema, where all the films are shown. The competitive performances are free for the townspeople. The audience flocks to the cinema in large numbers.

For guests there are also excursions in the surrounding area, such as the romantic Volga village of Pljos, where Levitan painted his famous landscape and Medvedjev now has his country house. In the village of Yureyevets is the Tarkowskij Museum, a wooden house in which the child Andrei lived with his family in a little room and went to the village school next door when the family was evacuated from Moscow before the Germans. The village of Zavrashe, almost across from the river where he was born and which he rebuilt in another location for his autobiographical film Spiegel, has now disappeared in the basin of the dammed Volga. The grand festive opening of the festival is taking place in Jurevez, and I experienced the village together with Rachit Safiullin, one of Tarkovsky's many friends, employees and colleagues who regularly visit the festival. This year it was dedicated to the movie Stalker, who is now 40 years old. Safiullin is the set designer and prop master for the film. There is also an exhibition dedicated to him, where you can listen to his stories about the shooting process while listening to photos of the shooting. That alone is very exciting for someone from the West who is accustomed to seeing the works of the world-famous director as icons that have fallen from the sky through many (over) interpretations. So what were the means, what were the intentions? Safiullin explains to the handful of women from Jurevez, as well as the large international professional audience in Ivanovo, about his filming with Tarkovsky with the same engaging energy. The fact that he also lived with Tarkovsky and his second wife for years makes him an exciting contemporary witness.

In addition to the film operation, an international scientific conference on the subject of “Imaginary Tarkowsky” took place. Some German guests, such as a group of Berlin Slavonic Studies students, were invited thanks to "Russian Season 2019", a series of Russian cult events. Claus Löser, publicist and cinema director, who had previously hosted a conference on stalkers at the Academy of Arts in Berlin, spoke about the reception of the film in East and West Germany. The Chicago Slavist Robert Bird emphatically analyzed Tarkovsky's films as works of art created in a specific place and at a specific time, and thus Tarkovsky as an unequivocally Soviet director, although he has often been described as detached from this culture. His films have even become the main source of the imagination of Soviet history itself. In two excellent books (Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema, 2008 and the BFI Film Classics book on Andrei Rublev, 2004) Bird illuminates the background and production methods of Tarkovsky's films. His books feed on source research, with a fascinatingly precise command of the Russian language and the intellectual and cultural history of the Soviet Union and Russia. "... Tarkovsky’s' poetic’ oeuvre is an investigation into the elements of cinema by means of which a merely visual world is displaced by an intensely palpable reality, the ceaseless flows of information crystallizing into concrete somatic experience. "


Saskia Walker