Tarkovsky’s search for wholeness, for the integrity of the world, might be read in reductive psychological terms: the separation of his parents in 1935 deeply marked him, and such films as The Mirror and Solaris reveal his yearning for a reassembled family. (His concern with memory, both private and ancestral, is largely reconstitutive.) More importantly, it reflects his preoccupation with spiritual and psychic renewal, dependent in his view on a series of vital connections: with nature, with the past, with originating cultures, including that of pre-revolutionary Russia.
With its holy madmen, saints and seers, and its Dostoevskian themes of atonement, apocalypse and imprisonment, loss of spirituality and hope, Tarkovsky’s cinema has its origins in 19th-century Russian culture (as frequently did Bresson’s).
From -Andrei Tarkovsky: The Poet of ApocalypseJames Quandt 1 October 2018