Andrei Tarkovsky's Sounding Cinema: Music and Meaning from Solaris to The Sacrifice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Andrei Tarkovsky's Sounding Cinema

Music and Meaning from Solaris to The Sacrifice, 1st Edition

By Tobias Pontara


216 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367277291
pub: 2019-12-20
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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Author

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

About the Series

Music and Sound on the International Screen

Around the world, music and sound play an essential role in the experience of cinema and other screen media, yet research on music in screen media has been largely centered on the United States. Music and Sound on the International Screen expands the horizons of film music scholarship by publishing cutting-edge monographs and edited collections on topics in music, sound, and screen media beyond Hollywood. Written by established and emerging international scholars, the books in this series encourage vigorous and sustained discourse around the historical, social, cultural, and aesthetic aspects of music in the context of the moving image.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / History & Criticism
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism