1st Edition

Andrei Tarkovsky's Sounding Cinema Music and Meaning from Solaris to The Sacrifice

By Tobias Pontara Copyright 2020
    208 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Andrei Tarkovsky's Sounding Cinema adds a new dimension to our understanding and appreciation of the work of Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932–1986) through an exploration of the presence of music and sound in his films.

    The first comprehensive study in English concentrating on the soundtrack in Tarkovsky’s cinema, this book reveals how Tarkovsky’s use of electronic music, electronically manipulated sound, traditional folk songs and fragments of canonized works of Western art music plays into the philosophical, existential and ethical themes recurring throughout his work. Exploring the multilayered relationship between music, sound, film image and narrative space, Pontara provides penetrating and innovative close readings of Solaris (1972), Mirror (1975), Stalker (1979), Nostalghia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986) and in turn deeply enriches critical understanding of Tarkovsky’s films and their relation to the broader traditions of European art cinema.

    An excellent resource for scholars, researchers and students interested in European art cinema and the role of music in film, as well as for film aficionados interested in Tarkovsky’s work.

    Chapter 1: Interpreting Tarkovsky’s Cinema through its Music

    Chapter 2: Bach at the Space Station: Diegetic Ambiguities and Multiplying Gaps in Solaris

    Chapter 3: Memories, Dreams and Mysteries: Music and Dimensions of Human Experience in Mirror

    Chapter 4: Beethoven Overcome: Transcendence and Utopia in Stalker

    Chapter 5: Musical Offerings, Soothing Sounds and Sacrificial Acts: Managing the Nostalgia of Nostalghia

    Chapter 6: The Voice of Truth: Liminal Music, Spiritual Authenticity and Gradual Awakening in The Sacrifice

    Chapter 7: Music, Meaning and Troubled Utopias in Tarkovsky’s Cinema

    Appendix: The Structure of Mirror


    Tobias Pontara is Professor in Musicology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.