The acclaimed film director of ‘Stalker’ waxes poetic on loneliness, boredom and self-esteem.
For all the lonely cinephiles and burgeoning auteur filmmakers out there in the world, Andrei Tarkovsky is truly the patron saint of waxing poetic. There might not be a more Tarkovskian scene than this clip of young Andrei lounging between tree branches thoughtfully rambling about what message he’d like to pass on to young people.
A well-documented photographer as well (here are some great insights which we can learn from Tarkovsky’s polaroid collection), the famous Russian director of cinema classics like Stalker, Solaris and Nostalghia offers some surprisingly sincere advice for aspiring artists and up-and-coming filmmakers who might aspire to learn from the director’s distinct poetic filmmaking approach.
Andrei Tarkovsky's Message for Young People
In a short video clip released by The Criterion Collection, Tarkovsky is asked off camera “What would you like to tell young people?” as a brook babbles on below him. Here is his full response to the question:
"I don’t know… I think I’d like to say only that they should learn to be alone and try to spend as much time as possible by themselves. I think one of the faults of young people today is that they try to come together around events that are noisy, almost aggressive at times. This desire to be together in order to not feel alone is an unfortunate symptom, in my opinion. Every person needs to learn from childhood how to spend time with oneself. That doesn’t mean he should be lonely, but that he shouldn’t grow bored with himself because people who grow bored in their own company seem to me in danger, from a self-esteem point of view."
The relationship between art and loneliness definitely seems to be a point of contention in many of our favorite auteur filmmakers. And while it’s important to stay up-to-date on many of the tangible parts of our industry, it’s just as important for all of us “young people” to stay in touch with our own self-esteem and point of view.