Until only a little time ago it was thought that the film classes recorded by Andréi Tarkovsky lasted seven hours, and formed some short but extraordinary teaching material that has been translated into various languages, (in Spanish published as Atrapad la vida, in Errata Naturae). However, recent research has led to the discovery of some unknown material that amounts to about 90 hours of sound recordings. The material was in the private archive belonging to Masha Chugunova, who accompanied Tarkovsky at his classes and lectures for years. This discovery is undoubtedly one of the major film events of the year.
A project has been launched at the Tarkovsky Institute, run by Andrei Tarkovsky junior, to research, restore and disseminate all this treasure, that the EQZE is taking part in as a film research centre. EQZE is the only institution in Spain that is taking part in the project.
In short, the materials that have been discovered are audio recordings from 1975 to 1981 and include:
1. Two series of film classes by Andrei Tarkovsky, given as part of the advanced courses for film directors and scriptwriters in Moscow in 1977 and in 1981 (40 hours approximately).
2. Numerous meetings with filmgoers in the cities of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), Dnepropetrovsk, Kazan, Leningrad (now St Petersburg), Novosibirsk, Riga and Tomsk in the period from 1976 to 1981, (another 40 hours approximately).
3. Professional meetings between Tarkovsky and filmmakers from Estonia (Tallinn, 1975), with the protagonists of Stalker (Tallinn, 1975), with film technicians and young filmmakers from Mosfilm (Moscow, 1980), young directors from the Filmmakers’ Union of the USSR (Moscow, 1981), (about 10 hours)
In these classes, meetings and talks, Tarkovski covers an extremely broad range of arguments about the filmmaker’s profession, aesthetic, ethical, philosophical or psychological questions... interspersed with continual reflections of his own related to a variety of subjects regarding film theory and practice, questions about international culture, its relationship to the development of civilisation...
The lost lessons of Andrei Tarkovsky will form a series of sessions at the EQZE, which, at a rate of one or two a year, will account for the finding, contents and restoration of this material. The sessions may last between one and two days and will be organised as a series of guided (and subtitled) opportunities to listen to the filmmaker’s recordings. The excerpts will be selected, subtitled and provided with atmosphere, and will also be introduced by a specialist.
Other actions will be activated based around Tarkovsky’s voice, that will involve sound artists etc. Each of the conferences will also be backed up by other activities. The ultimate aim of the Tarkovsky Institute is to publish all these classes in one or more volumes, to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the filmmaker’s birth in 2022.
The cooperation agreement with the Tarkovsky Institute, will enable some of the students from the EQZE to work on researching and restoring these materials, as part of their training at EQZE.