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Director David Tausik on Tarkovsky

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November 9, 2002

Filmmaker David Tausik shares with us the following interesting anecdote.

To  : Nostalghia.com
From: David Tausik
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 15:07:14 EST

While I was shooting a film in Moscow I heard a  good  anecdote  about
Andrei  Tarkovsky that also helps sum up how I feel about his work.  I
was making a Roger Corman film called Haunted Symphony.  It was set in
the 1870's, so there was a lot of fire in the film:  candles, torches,
fireplaces, immolated peasants -- all set on an  old  tinderbox  of  a
soundstage  at  Mosfilm  Studios.   The  studio  manager, an old-timer
there, was apparently worried that I  might  be  a  madman  intent  on
burning  down  their  complex, and my translator couldn't convince him
otherwise.  I finally confronted him face to face,  and  he  confessed
that  they  were  nervous  wrecks when it came to fire ever since 1971
when Tarkovsky had, without anyone's  permission,  launched  a  rocket
ship  on  the  very same sound stage and nearly burnt the studio down.
I'm told that even after all  the  fire  trucks  left,  Tarkovsky  had
remained unapologetic.  He felt it was an "artist's right."

That is the sort of man I fantasize about being but  could  never  be:
unmindful   of  the  studio,  unconcerned  about  whether  the  public
understands my work, uncompromising in every way, shooting  films  for
20  months  on  end, long after the money has run out and the producer
has killed himself.

That's a real artist, and that's Tarkovsky.  My hat's off to him.

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