A Nostalghia.com featured book:

Book of Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror


Book of Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror,
Hironobu Baba (ed.),
Libro Port, 1994, in Japanese
ISBN 4-8457-0926-0
B5 size, 512 pages. 8,992 Yen (tax incl.)

The existence of this book was—to your humble Nostalghia.com webmasters—for several years a mere unsubstantiated rumour. This all changed when Kimitoshi Sato of Japan, a member of the Japanese Andrei Tarkovsky Society, wrote us and confirmed its existence - and even provided us with two copies of the book. The publication of this thick, glossy, lavishly illustrated book was originally supported by the Japanese Andrei Tarkovsky Society. It contains 196 monochrome photos from the director's own working diary, as well as the movie's shooting script, complete right down to fade-in/fade-out details. It includes the novels White, White Day with the alternate version White Day, as well as photos from the Tarkovsky family album. The book is no longer in print. The book's editor, Hironobu Baba, came to an agreement with a very helpful Larisa, and was permitted to photograph all pages of the relevant notebooks in Florence (35 mm monochrome). The original material consisted of two hard-cover B6 size notebooks. Tarkovsky had made entries in four inks: black, red, blue, and green. One book contained 1973 entries, the other 1974 entries. The 1973 book was titled "Work Note." The 1974 book was titled "Work Journal." They both contained offical documents, letters and memos inserted by Tarkovsky.

A more detailed breakdown of the contents is as follows.

  • pp. 7 - 16: Pages from the Tarkovsky family album, 17 black & white photos in total. Album section uses sepia paper.
  • pp. 17 - 234: Annotated script of The Mirror, together with information on the music in the movie, along with numerous shots from the movie.
  • pp. 241 - 415 Tarkovsky's own working diary on the movie, in Japanese translation, covering the period 22 March 1973 (preparation stage) to 20 December 1974 (movie premiere); many xeroxed documents/memos and monochrome snapshots by the director himself and others which were pasted into the original worknotes. About 200 photos and reproductions of the pages of the original notebook/diary. 41 photocipied pages of the original Russian version.
  • pp. 416 - 417: The Editor, Mr. Baba, made a plate presented here showing the worknote scenes and their counterparts in the movie.
  • pp. 420 - 427: Japanese translations of some documents, an outline for the movie Confession (a precursor to Mirror, 6 typewritten A4 pages, never before published. See xerox below), storyboard, conversation with architectural students dated April 1975.
  • pp. 428 - 512: The two novels upon which the movie is based (in Japanese), with translation of the poems read in the movie.

The book's masthead is found to the left; click to enlarge. The Andrei Tarkovsky Publishing Assocition mentioned therein is Hironobu Baba, the book's editor, a leading member of the Japanese Tarkovsky Society at the time. The book was published in the early 1990s with the aid of the publishing company Libro Port.

Note the existence of another Mirror book, from Germany, some parts of which are based on the same notebooks:

Tarkowskij, Andrej
Der Spiegel. Filmnovelle, Arbeitstagebücher
und Materialien zur Entstehung des Films.
Aus dem Russischen von Kurt Baudisch und
Ute Spengler. Berlin: Limes Verlag, 1993
ISBN 3-8090-2322-1  
The Japanese edition, unlike the German one, tries to reproduce/preserve the original design (see photo below).

Hironobu Baba writes in the epilogue of the Japanese book:

If this book sells 2,500 copies in one year, we may launch the same project on Stalker, and others. Up until now, January 1994, an original Russian version has not been published.
No Stalker project was ever attempted.

Another brief writeup on this book, and information on how to purchase it, may be found on the author's own website. [UPDATE August 1, 2003: The author no longer accepts orders for this book — sold out.]

Below, some more samples from the book.

From the family album

Andrei's mother.

From the Working Diary

The director, himself an actor.

From the Working Diary, in Japanese translation

Note how faithfully the page attempts to reproduce the original.

From the Working Diary

Proposal for the movie Confession

First and last page. (English translation available in: Andrei Tarkovsky: Collected Screenplays, pp. 257–261)

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