Russia remembers filmmaker Tarkovsky
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Friday April 5, 3:52 AM

Russia remembers filmmaker Tarkovsky

Russia paid lavish tribute to the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-86) on the 70th anniversary of his birth, inaugurating a monument and holding a memorial service in his honour.

Russian media offered scores of articles and interviews about the director who for more than two decades was the outstanding filmmaker of his generation.

Tarkovsky died in Paris in 1986, forced into exile by Soviet leaders unable to face his challenge to their orthodoxies, notably his assertion of religious values running directly counter to the official atheism of the Communist state.

"Tarkovsky was the 'poete maudit' of the cinema. Since his death it has been impossible to live and create as he did, even for a genius," wrote the business daily Kommmersant.

"He only made seven films -- so few, and yet a whole universe," wrote Rossiskaya Gazeta.

Film director Alexander Mitta described him as "the only filmmaker of his generation integrated into European and international cinema."

"Tarkovsky had a sad fate in Russia: a brief period of recognition in the early 1960s, then indifference and persecution, followed by adoration and neglect," wrote Vremya Novostei.

"After the euphoria of perestroika (in the late 1980s), he has been forgotten, his language no longer chimes with the times. But he will become contemporary again when a new Russian cinema appears and is in need of a benchmark," the paper said.

Tarkovsky made his debut with "Ivan's Childhood" in 1962, won worldwide notice with his second feature "Andrei Rublev" in 1969, was acclaimed for "Solaris" (1972) and "Stalker" (1979) bracketing the autobiographical "Mirror" (1975), went into exile to make "Nostalghia" (1983), and won the Cannes festival Grand Jury Prize in 1986 for the film some see as his masterpiece, "The Sacrifice", made while he was dying of cancer.

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