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The Cinema of Tarkovsky: Labyrinths of Space and Time

The Cinema of Tarkovsky: Labyrinths of Space and Time
Nariman Skakov

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The phenomenon of time was a central preoccupation of Tarkovsky throughout his career. His films present visions of time by temporal means - that is, in time. Tarkovsky does not represent time through coherent argument, Nariman Skakov proposes, rather he presents it and the viewer experiences the argument. This book explores the phenomenon of spatio-temporal lapse in Tarkovsky's cinema - from Ivan's Childhood (1962) to Sacrifice (1986). Dreams, visions, mirages, memories, revelations, reveries and delusions are phenomena which present alternative spatio-temporal patterns; they disrupt the linear progression of events and create narrative discontinuity. Each chapter is dedicated to the discussion of one of Tarkovsky's seven feature films and in each, one of these phenomena functions as a refrain. Skakov discusses the influence of the flow of and lapses in space and time on the viewer's perception of the Tarkovskian cinematic universe.

He opens and closes his original and fascinating book on Tarkovsky's cinema by focusing on the phenomenon of time that is discussed extensively by the filmmaker in his main theoretical treatise Sculpting in Time, as well as in a number of interviews and public lectures.

Author Info

Nariman Skakov is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Stanford University.


‘An illuminating long take on the creative work of one of the most enigmatic and thought-provoking filmmakers of the twentieth century. Skakov sets high standards not only for Tarkovsky scholarship, but for writing about cinema as such. The book is indispensable reading for thinking about cinema, and understanding how cinema affects thinking.’
Dragan Kujundzic, Professor of Film and Media Studies and Slavic Studies, University of Florida

‘Before this book, Tarkovsky’s preoccupation with “sculpting in time” had become a critical cliché. Here Skakov brings it alive again, offering a fresh, theoretically-informed and entirely original approach. He reveals Tarkovsky’s work as creating “textural” temporality, offers fresh readings of the key films, and a compelling theoretical framework.’
Emma Widdis, Head of Department of Slavonic Studies, Cambridge University

'Definitely belongs in the top of anyone’s shortlist of Tarkovsky’s scholarship.'
Daria Shembel, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
Series: KINO: The Russian Cinema Series

ISBN: 9781848856301
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2012
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 30 bw integrated illustrations

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