DIRECTED BY ANDREI TARKOVSKY (Michal Leszczylowski, 1988)
Museum of Arts & Design
2 Columbus Circle at 58th St. & Eighth Ave.
Friday, August 28, $10, 7:00
Series continues Friday nights through August 28
After seven consecutive Friday nights presenting all seven of Soviet auteur Andrei Tarkovsky’s feature-length films (Solaris, Stalker, Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, The Mirror, Nostalghia, and The Sacrifice, each one a masterpiece in its own right), the Museum of Arts & Design — it’s affectionately known as MAD for a reason — is concluding its “Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time” series on August 28 with the 1988 documentary Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. During the shooting of what would be Tarkovsky’s last film, The Sacrifice, coeditor Michal Leszczylowski kept his own camera going, filming Tarkovsky as he collaborated with cinematographer Sven Nykvist, production designer Anna Asp, star Erland Josephson, and others, carefully orchestrating each shot, anxious about the lighting, the angles, the position of a table. Yes, that is the job of all directors, but Tarkovsky takes it to whole ’nother level, sometimes worried about the slightest hair flip, then barely concerned about a specific piece of dialogue. It is fascinating watching him in action, working with a translator to sift through the Russian, English, and Swedish being spoken on the set. The Sacrifice is about a man who is willing to suddenly give up everything to save himself; it looks like there’s not much that Tarkovsky wouldn’t sacrifice to make sure his film is perfect. Leszczylowski supplements the behind-the-scenes footage with stories from Tarkovsky’s wife, assistant director Larisa Tarkovskaya (Larisa Kizilova), as well as narration by Brian Cox, reading from Tarkovsky’s book Sculpting in Time, his poetic defense of cinema as art melding beautifully with images of the great director creating some of the most artistic cinema ever put on celluloid.