jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Tarkovsky's Mirror displayed him showing gratitude to his homeland, Russia. A film where memories are a longing for the unreturnable past and an uncertain future awaits. It seems in the course of the span of Mirror and Nostalgia, Tarkovsky flipped on his opinions. Before, Soviet Authorities ruined Tarkovsky's chance in winning a well deserved Palme d'Or for Nostalgia, an attack that resulted in Tarkovsky never making a film in the Soviet Union again.
This shows with Nostalgia; a man enters a world where he knows little of the language and is guided by a seductive interpreter who feverishly attempts to seduce him into bed, then leaves him when he doesn't oblige. The man, a poet named Andrei (coincidence?), seems to remain an outsider, even in his natural state. He can never find a world that seems to fit himself perfectly into that frame and grows distant from mankind and grows closer with Domenico, a man who had his entire family held captive for seven years as he feared for the end of the World. He, like Andrei, doesn't fit in the world that has judged him and questioned him. Andrei finds some sort of solace in Domenico because he finds himself in the lonely man, and Domenico sees himself in Andrei, a poet wandering for inspiration.
Andrei is clearly an allegory for Tarkovsky. Unlike Mirror where the allegory of a mother not only represented his own mother, but the idea of "Mother Russia," Nostalgia seems to have a vengeful air to it; Tarkovsky is not remembering the "nostalgic past," like Mirror allows him to do, but he remembers a time where he felt connected and now, he doesn't. He is alone in this world, wandering for inspiration for his next project. Nostalgia is a film where its aura has a trance where it sucks you in, but distances itself from other feeling. You are left cold with no sign of warming up, just thoughts of the past and the uncertain future clouding us. Of course, I could be ABSOLUTELY wrong, but I found this astounding. Finishing Tarkovsky's filmography is bittersweet; when I was starting out as a film fan, he was the first foreign filmmaker I learned about, absorbing every detail about the man's life. It brings me happiness that I've seen every film by another great filmmaker, but why did I have to finish Tarkovsky's so soon?
What happens now?