As the creative force behind such movies as Stalker, Mirror, and Solaris, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, born in 1932, is widely considered to be one of the greatest directors to have ever lived, his pioneering use of long takes and his profound philosophical and poetic narratives marking him as a uniquely influential figure in 20th-century cinema. His extensive diaries offer invaluable insights into his artistic processes, struggles with Soviet authorities, personal battles including his fight against cancer, and the occasional moment of humour. When he wrote the following entry in 1970, 38-year-old Tarvosky had recently married his second wife, was weeks away from welcoming another son into the world, and had drinker’s remorse.
The Diary Entry
Yesterday I got drunk. And shaved off my moustache. I only realised this morning. And on all my document photographs I’ve got a moustache. I’ll have to grow it again.
Andrei Tarkovsky’s diaries were first published with the title Martyrolog, in Russian, in 1989, three years after his death. Two years later they were translated into English and published as Time Within Time: The Diaries 1970–1986.
For more on the life and work of Tarkovsky:
- Andrei Tarkovsky at the Criterion Collection
- Andrei Tarkovsky at Wikipedia
- Tarkovsky’s films, free to stream online
Diary entry excerpted from Time Within Time: The Diaries 1970–1986, published in 1991 and translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair. Reprinted by kind permission of Seagull Books.