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The Mirror [Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
I often see films described as poetry, but here is a case where that comparison is most precise. Like poetry, layers of meaning are waiting to be discovered in this film. Each time I watch this film it affects me more and more. My last viewing, perhaps my tenth, was the most profound. I encourage everyone to give this film the time it demands, and deserves, because the rewards are great.
The quality of this dvd, like others have written, is not the best. The version put out by Artificial Eye in the U.K. is reported to be superior, and is probably the better choice if you have a multi-region player. I have given this disc 5/5 stars because the film is so great it overpowers the limitations of the disc, and there isn't a compellingly better version available in Region 1 at the moment.
However, there is a coherent story there too - and its existence is often missed or even vehemently denied. It is essentially the life story of the narrator, who never appears in the frame, but through whose eyes many of the scenes are presented. The man has his share of human flaws, yet his perception is particularly sharp, and his mind and spirit are attuned to the history and destiny of his country and to the cultural heritage of the humankind - the latter represented in the film by the music and visual references to famous paintings, which elevate the action and place it in the global context. There are repeated hints in the film that these personal qualities - a mixed blessing to put it mildly - run in the family and hence will go on even though the narrator dies in his 40s. The words of the smoking doctor in the deathbed scene (who is played by the co-author of the screenplay) are mistranslated in the English subtitles, but the key part comes across: the man is dying because there are such things as memory and conscience.Read more ›
For those of you who don't speak Russian, I feel very very very bad for you, because of the terrible translation of the movie. Aside from the poems in the movie, that were previously translated by the professionals, the translation sounds as though it was done by fifth-graders. And not just because it is done in the high-school level English. HALF of the speech is not translated at all--a lot of important chatter is completely missing in the subtitles. Many things are oversimplified and revealed, instead of letting the viewer dig them out him/herself. Those of you who don't understand Russian are doomed to be tortured by such translation and never to reveal the true beauty and meaning of the original script. Having read all of the subtitles, I understood a lot of things in a wrong way, different from the way they were intended in the first place, and had zero satisfaction from the movie. Thank [deity] I'm Russian.
The ugly yellow subtitles can NOT be removed--they will stay on the screen forever while I watch the movie and irritate and upset me with the abovementioned crimes against Art.
The supposedly "black and white" scenes, which originally had a silver-ish quality to them, and some were in sepia, are now in plain B&W a la Fellini's La Strada. I used to have a feeling that the bushes were made out of steel and silver, but not on this DVD.
DVD has ZERO extras, and thank [deity] they divided the movie into chapters for easy scene access, but even there they managed to screw up.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I admit that I was not properly prepared when I first watched "The Mirror" (or "Mirror" or "The Looking Glass" or whatever it's really supposed to be... Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by dm
One of the most moving and beautiful films I've ever seen. Contrary to what I'd expected, I found it pretty easy to follow. Sensual AND spiritual. Imaginative AND realistic. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2004 by Draftsman
Be sure to read Vlad's review of the shoddy quality of this DVD. As a non-Russian speaker, I am essentially spared the awful knowledge of just what has been done to this... Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2003 by Snow Leopard
This is NOT the best film by Andrei Tarkovsky . The best ones was :
3. Andrei Rublev
This one was one of the earliest . Read more
The Mirror is one of the most accessible Tarkovsky's films. I can recommend viewers to start with this film before progressing to other Tarkovsky's oeuvre. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2002
Subtitles are "glued" to the screen, there is no possible way to turn them off, this idiocy spoils the greatnes of the visual sequence...Published on April 5 2002
First of all. I love Tarkovskij's movies (most of them) but this one is really something different. The film has not been panned and scanned it was shot in full frame ratio which... Read morePublished on March 4 2002 by Amazon Customer
The Mirror is an interesting and different movie.
Billed as an intensely personal tale of growing up in Russia in WWII -- it is this -- but this is not what makes the movie... Read more