19 June 2008 | Quinoa1984
for Tarkovsky fans only - talks and beautiful visuals, maybe too beautiful
Anyone looking for some real behind-the-scenes footage of Andrei Tarkovsky, the great Russian filmmaker, on the set of his Italian film Nostalghia will be disappointed. This is a fact. It's only a movie about the making of Nostalghia inasmuch as he and co-writer Tonino Guerra go over some ideas and visit a couple of possible locations (whether or not they were used I can't totally recall- only the hot springs with the steam rising off the water, one of the most memorable images from the film, is seen prominently at one point). And 'some' ideas are in regards to the main character and who he is, his journey, what he's doing in his search within himself, etc. At best Voyage in Time does serve for the fan of Tarkovsky and particularly fans of the film some piece of his writing process, and in this case suiting the loose structure and nearly episodic nature of the project.
There are even some interesting 'questions' delivered by Guerra- when he's not reading some so-so poems he's written, one specifically for Tarkovsky about a house and a coat- that are apparently sent by fans. They're all pretty interesting answers Tarkovsky gives, in his peculiar but straightforward manner of speaking frankly in his love of directors like Bresson and Bergman and how he hates being square-pegged into genre (this is where he references Solaris "not being very good"). What makes Voyage in Time seem longer than its one-hour running length are the very, very long takes and shots of fields, scenic landscapes, buildings, etc, and it takes patience even for the die-hard Tarkovsky fan used to his meditative approach in poetic language of cinema. Most others who happen to stumble onto the recently released DVD (not in the greatest print either) will be bored to death.
So, all in all, it's a mixed bag, even probably for some fans, and it's a generous, absorbing curiosity at best.