December 1, 2023–January 2, 2024


Tarkovsky is for me the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”

Ingmar Bergman

The seven features sculpted in time” by Russian master and mystic Andrei Tarkovsky are among the most influential, acclaimed, and awe-inspiring film works to emerge from postwar Europe. Meditative, metaphysical, and incomparably visual, Tarkovsky’s is a cinema of moral and spiritual questing, rendered in a lyrical synthesis of apocalyptic poetry, tour-de-force long takes and tracking shots, expressive monochrome and muted colour, and unforgettable images. Steeped in Eastern Orthodox mysticism, sometimes venturing forth into hauntingly enigmatic science fiction, Tarkovsky’s films conjure up a hermetic, hallucinatory world that often speaks more directly to the subconscious than to the rational mind. The result is cinema of the rarest order: transcendent and transformative, rigorous and redemptive, utterly singular. Tarkovsky’s own reflections on art, cinema, and his body of work were published in a 1986 book titled (in English) Sculpting in Time. Later that year, Tarkovsky, 54, succumbed to lung cancer.

This Tarkovsky retrospective, our first since 2012, showcases all seven features made by the visionary artist. Many of the works arrive in digital restorations previously exhibited at The Cinematheque. A newly restored version of Tarkovsky’s penultimate film Nostalghia, which premiered at Il Cinema Ritrovato last year, will receive its Vancouver debut as part of the series.

Please note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the digital restoration of Nostalghia was not available for the opening night of this retrospective. An archival 35mm print screened in its place, and will encore on December 30. All other screenings are of the new restoration.

In the course of just seven feature films, Andrei Tarkovsky changed what cinema as an artform could achieve.” Nick James, Sight and Sound

The image is not a certain meaning expressed by the director, but the entire world reflected as in a drop of water.” Andrei Tarkovsky

Want to learn more about Tarkovsky’s rarified cinema? Join our Learning & Outreach Director Chelsea Birks for a Deep Focus” interactive lecture and screening of Nostalghia on December 9.


List of Programmed Films

Date Film Title Director(s) Year Country
2023-Dec Nostalghia Andrei Tarkovsky 1983 Italy . . .
2023-Dec Ivan’s Childhood Andrei Tarkovsky 1962 USSR
2023-Dec Andrei Rublev Andrei Tarkovsky 1966 USSR
2023-Dec Solaris Andrei Tarkovsky 1972 USSR
2023-Dec Mirror Andrei Tarkovsky 1974 USSR
2023-Dec The Sacrifice Andrei Tarkovsky 1986 Sweden . . .
2023-Dec Stalker Andrei Tarkovsky 1979 USSR