Does Tarkovsky paint films like a chimpanzee?

Chris Before

Oct 1, 2016
Has anyone seen the new re-mastered Blu-ray versions of Andrei Tarkovsky's films? I am picking up different views on the quality of the visuals and sound and their affect on the atmosphere of the films. Some saying the old DVD versions are preferable.
I recall watching Solaris on TV many years ago and being enthralled by the tension and chilling atmosphere. It was one of those films that sticks in your mind- at least in mine- I assumed because of the story. So i was really looking forward to watching Solaris by Steven Soderbergh, staring George Clooney, and was utterly disappointed by its ordinariness. Perhaps on reflection Soderbergh's film was an ok SF tale but had nothing compelling or provoking that continued to play on my mind after the film was watched.
So when I noticed that Curzon Artificial Eye are bringing out a box set later this year of Tarkovsky's re-mastered films I wondered if that would be a good investment?
I know it is easy today to access films and view them over and over again but i wonder if is better to keep the original memory or risk having it tarnished and eroded? I suspect if we look at something long enough we will see mastery in the imperfections and subconsciously tell ourselves it is part of a grander design. If we show a painting painted by chimpanzees in a prestigious gallery and inform people it is the work of a master, we know, because it has been done, that people will pick out the random splashes of colours and incoherent lines and read patterns into them that are interpreted as ingenious. Does Tarkovsky paint films like a chimpanzee? Encouraging or perhaps permitting us to see the patterns? Perhaps films often are the work of chimpanzees and perhaps, sometimes they are the work of genius artists who imply and show us what our imagination is open to see? And perhaps that is what we all, as artists, hope?


Lord High Vizier of Nowt
Dec 19, 2010
A wet, but photogenic, bit of Scotland.
I remember watching Solaris as a teenager when it first came out and was mesmerised by it. I have it now on DVD (the 2 disc Artificial Eye DVD211) and though I haven't watched it for a couple of years I found it just as wonderful.

Curiously I haven't particularly liked anything else of his I have seen.


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