“He moves with such naturalness in the room of dreams”*…
Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) firmly positioned himself as the finest Soviet director of the post-War period. But his influence extended well beyond the Soviet Union. The Cahiers du cinéma consistently ranked his films on their top ten annual lists. Ingmar Bergman went so far as to say, “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.” And Akira Kurosawa acknowledged his influence too, adding, “I love all of Tarkovsky’s films. I love his personality and all his works. Every cut from his films is a marvelous image in itself”…
Now one can watch Tarkovsky’s features (and a trio of shorts) online– and for free. Find the links in this chronological listing or among Open Culture’s collection, 700 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.
* Ingmar Bergman on Andrei Tarkovsky, in Laterna Magica (The Magic Lantern : An Autobiography).
As we slip into the dream state, we might send mysterious birthday greetings to Robert Bruce Montgomery; he was born on this date in 1921. A respected composer of “serious” of vocal and choral music and of film scores under his own name, he is perhaps better remembered by his pen name, Edmund Crispin. As Crispin (a name he took from Michael Innes’ Hamlet, Revenge), he wrote nine marvelous mystery novels and two collections of short stories, all featuring amateur detective Gervaise Fen, an eccentric Oxford don. Your correspondent’s favorite is The Moving Toyshop— but they’re all a treat: a mixture of Innes**, John Dickson Carr, and the Marx Brothers. After retiring from whodunits, Crispin edited several mystery collections and science-fiction anthologies– with no apologies or excuses for presenting SciFi as a legitimate form of writing– an iconoclastic attitude in the 1950s.
** “Michael Innes” was itself a pseudonym, the pen name of Oxford literary critic and scholar J. I. M. Stewart