Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes, 11/16

I’ll be the first to admit that my love for the films of Andrei Tarkovsky is kinda incongruous with what I guess you could my taste in cinema, but that’s cool by me.

Mirror is one of the most incredible cinematic experiences that anybody could possibly have; watching it is like having your life flash before your eyes while chilling on the precipice between indescribably dense life and ineffably vacuous death and then some omnipotent showoff who has obviously been sipping a decent amount of codeine-based cough syrup sneaks into the control booth and slathers the whole train of memory in luxurious slow-mo and suddenly you do not know whether you are floating or falling and then there are a bunch of mind-blowing long takes that lead you to debate internally whether your entire life has itself consisted of one insanely lengthy Steadicam shot—and, perhaps most remarkably, all of this is performed with a straight face.

Anyway, here’s one of the least highfalutin passages from Tarkovsky’s book Sculpting in Time; it’s more or less unrelated to the nonsense that I wrote in the preceding paragraph, but I really dig Tarkovsky’s argument here about how weirdly literary/cinematic the so-called “everyday” often seems. Enjoy:

I once taped a casual dialogue. People were talking without knowing they were being recorded. Then I listened to the tape and thought how brilliantly it was ‘written’ and ‘acted’. The logic of the characters’ movements, the feeling, the energy—how tangible it all was. How euphonic the voices were, how beautiful the pauses! … No Stanislavsky could have found justification for those pauses, and Hemingway’s stylistics seem pretentious and naïve in comparison with the way that casually recorded dialogue was constructed…


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