ஒரு சினிமாவுக்குத் தெரிவிக்கப்படும் எதிர்ப்பை வைத்து அந்த சினிமாவின் குணாம்சத்தை நாம் தீர்மானிக்க முடியாது. பொலிஸ்காரர்களால் பலபேர் புரட்சியாளர்கள் ஆனதுபோல் இப்போது பழமைவாதம் பலரைக் கலைஞர்களாக்கிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறது. இந்த களேபரத்தில் கமர்ஷியல் படங்களும்கூட கலைப் படைப்புகள் என்ற தகுதியைப் பெற்றுவிடுகின்றன. உளிகொண்டு செய்யப்பட்டது என்பதால் நாம் அம்மிக் கல்லை சிற்பமென ஏற்பதில்லை. ஒரு படத்துக்காக செய்யப்பட முதலீடோ அல்லது அதற்கு தெரிவிக்கப்படும் ஆதரவு அல்லது எதிர்ப்போ அந்தப் படத்தை கலைப் படைப்பாக மாற்றிவிட முடியாது. காட்சி ஊடகங்களில் கலையின் சுதந்திரம் குறித்த சப்தம் காதை அடைக்கிறது. அந்த சப்தத்திலிருந்து தப்பிக்க விரும்புகிற வர்களுக்கென இந்தப் பதிவு:
There are some aspects of human life that can only be faithfully represented through poetry. But this is where directors very often try to use clumsy, conventional gimmickry instead of poetic logic. I'm thinking of the illusionism and extraordinary effects involved in dreams, memories and fantasies. All too often film dreams are made into a collection of old-fashioned filmic tricks, and cease to be a phenomenon of life.
Faced with the necessity of shooting dreams, we had to decide how to come close to the particular poetry of the dream, how to express it, what means to use. This was not something that could be decided in the abstract. Casting around for an answer we tried out several practical possibilities, using associations and vague guesses. Quite unexpectedly it occurred to us to have negative images in the third dream. In our mind's eye we glimpsed black sunlight shining through snowy trees and a downpour of gleaming rain. Flashes of lightning came in to make it technically feasible to cut from positive to negative. But all this merely created an atmosphere of unreality. What about the content? What about the logic of the dream? That came from memories. I remembered seeing the wet grass, the lorry load of apples, the horses, wet with rain, steaming in the sunshine. All this material found its way into the film straight from film, not through the medium of contiguous visual arts. Looking for simple solutions to the problem of conveying the unreality of the dream we hit on the panorama of moving trees in negative, and, against the background, the face of the little girl passing in front of the camera three times, her expression changed with each appearance. We wanted to capture in that scene the child's foreboding of imminent tragedy. The last scene of the dream was deliberately shot near water, on the beach, in order to link it with the last dream of Ivan.
Of late I have frequently found myself addressing audiences, and I have noticed that whenever I declare there are no symbols or metaphors in my films, those present express incredulity. They persist in asking again and again, for instance, what rain signifies in my films; why does it figure in film after film; and why the repeated images of wind, fire and water? I really don't know how to deal with such questions. Rain is after all typical of the landscape in which I grew up; in Russia you have those long, dreary, persistent rains. And I can say that I love nature - I don't like big cities and feel perfectly happy when I'm away from the paraphernalia of modern civilisation, just as I felt wonderful in Russia when I was in my country house, with three hundred kilometres between Moscow and myself. Rain, fire, water, snow, dew, the driving ground wind - all are part of the material setting in which we dwell; I would even say of the truth of our lives. I am therefore puzzled when I am told that people cannot simply enjoy watching nature, when it is lovingly reproduced on the screen, but have to look for some hidden meaning they feel it must contain. Of course rain can just be seen as bad weather, whereas I use it to create a particular aesthetic setting in which to steep the action of the film. But that is not at all the same thing as bringing nature in to my films as a symbol of something else - Heaven forbid! In commercial cinema nature often does not exist at all; all one has is the most advantageous lighting and interiors for the purpose of quick shooting - everybody follows the plot and no one is bothered by the artificiality of a setting that is more or less right, nor by the disregard for detail and atmosphere. When the screen brings the real world to the audience, the world as it actually is, so that it can be seen in depth and from all sides, evoking its very 'smell', allowing audiences to feel on their skin its moisture or its dryness - it seems that the cinema-goer has so lost the capacity simply to surrender to an immediate, emotional aesthetic impression, that he instantly has to check himself, and ask: 'Why? What for? What's the point?' The answer is that I want to create my own world on the screen, in its ideal and most perfect form, as I myself feel it and see it. I am not trying to be coy with my audience, or to conceal some secret intention of my own: I am recreating my world in those details which seem to me most fully and exactly to express the elusive meaning of our existence.
Tarkovsky: Films, Stills, Polaroids & Writings is released 3 December on Thames & Hudson