Andrei Tarkovsky’s Advice to Young Filmmakers!

By Arun Fulara. Posted on August 18, 2015

There are very few filmmakers that filmmakers revere as much as Tarkovsky. Filmmakers like Bergman & Kurosawa, that everyone else looks up to, looked up to Tarkovsky. Bergman, for example had this to say about Tarkovsky;

Tarkovsky is for me the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.

Most of his films have a metaphysical core to them and require a certain sensibility in the viewer to be able to appreciate them. A true auteur, he treated cinema as an integral part of his life and expressed his deepest thoughts through his films. So it's no wonder that when advising young filmmakers, he says much the same thing. This small excerpt from the beautiful documentary on Tarkovsky's time in Italy. Read the transcript of his advice below the video.


"Nowadays everyone makes movies, everybody thinks they can make movies, you see? Anyone who's not too lazy. It's not hard to learn how to glue the film, how to work a camera.

But the advice i can give to beginners is not separate their work, their movie, their film from the life they live. Not make a difference between the movie and their own life.

Because a director is like any other artist: a painter, a poet, a musician and since it is required of him to contribute his own self, it is strange to see directors that take their work as a special position, given to them by destiny, and simply exploit their profession. That is, they live in one way but make movies about something else.

And i'd like to tell directors, especially young ones, that they should be morally responsible, for what they do while making their films. Do you understand? It is the most important of all.

Secondly they should be prepared for the thought that cinema is a very difficult and serious art. It requires sacrificing of yourself. You should belong to it, it shouldn't belong to you.

Cinema uses your life, not vice versa. Therefore i think that this is the most important. You should sacrifice yourself to the art. This is what i've been thinking lately about my profession."

Also check out this list of his favourite films over at the Criterion site culled from his book, 'Sculpting in Time'.


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