Tarkovsky's Landscape Analysis

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The Great Dream of Nature in Tarkovsky’s Landscape Tarkovsky’s cinematic landscape serves as a conceptual means, exactly like the chôra, to express that which is inconceptualisable. In his book Sculpting in Time, Tarkovsky states that his films are not made to be deciphered as a set of signs and symbolisms, but “watched as one watches the stars, or the sea, as one admires a landscape. There is no mathematical logic here, for it cannot explain what man is or what is the meaning of life” . A paradox seems to arise in the fact that, on the one hand, the notion of landscape functions as a major aesthetic principle in his work, but on the other hand, that there are few literal landscapes to be found in his films. Landscapes in this case refer to picturesque, aesthetic views of landscapes as self-conscious reproductions of nature’s beauty. Tarkovsky does not film said ‘great landscapes’. The spaces he creates in his films are not geometric but mental landscapes. They are like the ‘zone’ in Stalker which represents an area of no country and of no precise time. A space that even seems to “ignore straight lines” . They are mental landscapes like the cosmic oceans on Solaris or the eponymous space station where people live, like in a chôra, through their own memories or dreams. The Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, who closely corresponded with Tarkovsky during his lifetime and with whom he shared many cinematic and philosophical views, once said that all his “films are dreams”
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