Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Criterion Collection Spine #1084
(Foreign language film - Russian)
Imagine looking into a mirror of your life with all the memories, trauma, thoughts, beauty, emptiness, and knowledge you experienced along the way ... what would you see?
"That's because we don't trust nature that is inside us. Always this suspiciousness, haste, and no time to stop and think."
Even on a rewatch Andrei Tarkovsky's self-reflective film Mirror remains one of the most challenging films I have seen ... that had me struggling to engage with it throughout ... until its poetic brilliance all comes together at the end. It was remarkable how it was able to do this, since I knew what to expect coming in, and yet I had the exact same experience with it.
There were huge segments of this stream of Tarkovsky's consciousness that I had no memory of watching, but every now and then he grabs our attention with some truly stunning moments. So what is the ghostly presence in the house ... is it some kind of impact we as the audience are having on these memories we are passing through time to observe. I am now looking forward to digging into all the features on my Criterion edition of this film, to try and better understand these moments of Tarkovsky's life.
"And I can't wait to see this dream in which I'll be a child again and feel happy again because everything will still be ahead, everything will be possible..."
With Tarkovsky dying so young we are fortunate that he made such an introspective film giving us a look into his life at the mid-point of his career. After seeing Mirror again, I have no doubt Terrence Malick was influenced by this while making 'The Tree of Life'.
While I don't think Mirror stands up as my favorite Tarkovsky movie, it is still an amazing film experience like no other.
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Skål!🍻