EQZE focuses on Tarkovsky’s lost classes
The first conference will combine listening to a preliminary selection of the unpublished classes given by the filmmaker with other artistic performances linked to his work will take place at Tabakalera. Andrei Tarkovski’s son, Harkaitz Cano, Xabier Erkizia, Ángel Gutierrez, Menchu Gutiérrez, Ruxandra Kyriazopoulos-Berinde and José Manuel Mouriño will be taking part in this event.
On the 6th of December the first of the sessions that will combine listening to a preliminary selection of the unpublished classes given by the filmmaker with other artistic performances linked to his work will take place at Tabakalera
Andrei Tarkovski’s son, Harkaitz Cano, Xabier Erkizia, Ángel Gutierrez, Menchu Gutiérrez, Ruxandra Kyriazopoulos-Berinde and José Manuel Mouriño will be taking part in this event
Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola will be resuming its public programme on the 6th of December with the first session devoted to recovering the film classes given by Andrei Tarkovsky in various places in the Soviet Union between 1975 and 1981. This is extraordinary material made up of nearly 90 hours of sound recordings that have been found in the personal archive of Masha Chugunova, who for years accompanied the filmmaker at his classes and lectures.
As this was a fundamental question for him, Tarkovsky devoted a significant part of his career to helping other people to try and find and understand what he considered to be vital in the art of filmmaking. He did this through his films but also did so in a specifically didactic way, in classes and lectures in which he taught people to look at cinema and create it. Although the importance of his theoretical writings (which were often pedagogical and only partially disseminated thanks to books like Sculpting in time) is nowadays indisputable, there is no specific study that deals with and clearly shows his work as a maestro of cinema.
The recent discovery in Moscow of this archive is a unique opportunity to try and fill this gap. This is how both the Andrei Tarkovsky International Institute and the EQZE have understood this, and they –together with another series of European Institutions- have launched a wide-ranging project to restore, study and disseminate the contents of these old recordings.
Methodology of the project
At a series of events, the audience will have an exceptional opportunity to take part as listeners in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film classes. These sessions will not only be restricted to listening to the recordings. Although the contents of the restored recordings will determine the characteristics of the events, each of these are framed as separate experiences or case studies. In this way, the project will form a series of approaches to Tarkovsky’s classes, in which different professionals, artists, and specialists will provide parallel analyses of the ideas and relationships formulated by the Soviet filmmaker. In the same way, the sound material that has been undiscovered up to now will be accompanied by the display and analysis of many other unpublished archive documents and images that will help to divulge the director’s creative process. The aim is to ensure that knowledge is transmitted not only through the contents that the recovered archives provide access to but also through the very event that the listening session forms part of.
At the first of the sessions that make up the programme (see programme) we will be focusing especially on his film entitled The mirror (Zérkalo, 1975). The audience will be able to listen to the filmmaker addressing various aspects of the process of creating that film: the origins of the project, the consequences of it being biographical, his relationship with the actors, the writing of the script…Tarkovsky also addresses questions like the artist’s ethical responsibility, the details of the filmmaker’s profession studied by looking at other similar arts, such as painting, literature or music; the analysis of some of the main characteristics of other filmmakers that he admired such as Robert Bresson, Luis Buñuel, Aleksander Dovjenko, Michelangelo Antonioni or the complex relationship between reality and fiction in films.
Programme for the first session
This first event will be attended by Andrei Andreievich Tarkovsky, the filmmaker’s son and president of the International Institute that bears his name who will be providing his opinion and experience with regard to his father’s life and work. He will also be talking about various working materials belonging to the archive collections at the Institute that he heads which for the first time it will be possible to study in public. He will be accompanied by the architect Ruxandra Kyriazopoulos-Berinde, the author of a thesis that explores the relations between architecture and Andrei Tarkovsky’s cinema that will establish, using a plan located in Room Z at Tabakalera of the dacha (country-house) in which part of The mirror took place, the possible dialogues and metaphors that the filmmaker established between physical space and film language; José Manuel Mouriño, essayist, filmmaker and representative of the Tarkovsky Institute in Spain and one of the researchers of the recovered sound recordings; Ángel Gutiérrez, director of the Chekov Theatre company who closely collaborated with Tarkovski’s on shooting the same film; Menchu Gutiérrez, novelist, poet, essayist and translator of Joseph Brodsky; Xabier Erkizia, a musician and sound artist who has created an audio-visual installation based on the audio soundtrack from the film; and Harkaitz Cano, scriptwriter, essayist and writer, who will send a letter to Tarkovski.
The event will be rounded off by the screening of Money (L’Argent, 1983) one of the best-known films in Robert Bresson’s career, and the film that earned the French director the award for best director at the Cannes Film Festival in 1983, an award that he precisely shared with Andrei Tarkovsky (an admirer of Bresson’s films) for Nostalgia (Nostalghia).