Instant Light  Tarkovsky Polaroids

Instant Light Tarkovsky Polaroids

  1. Edited by Giovanni Chiaramonte
  2. Andrey A. Tarkovsky
  • ISBN 9780500286142
  • 21.40 x 15.50 cm
  • Paperback with flaps
  • 136pp
  • 69 Illustrations, 62 in colour
  • First published 2006
‘Extraordinary … photographs in which the organization of colour and light can only be matched by painters as precise as Vermeer. This is a real gem of a book’ – The Guardian
‘Proves Tarkovsky was not only a master of the moving image … for anyone with an interest in film history or the creative possibilities of simple Polaroid cameras, this book is a delight’ – Amateur Photographer

A beautiful, elegiac collection of sixty polaroid photographs by the late, great Soviet film director, Andrey Tarkovsky Tarkovsky is here revealed as realizing the utmost potential of a fleeting, disposable medium.

Composed of sixty luminous polaroids taken by Andrey Tarkovsky in Russia and Italy between 1979 and 1984, this beautifully produced series of cameos from the director’s life reveals him to be a master of the still as much as of the moving image.

‘Tarkovsky often reflected on the way that time flies and this is precisely what he wanted: to stop it, even with these quick Polaroid shots … These images leave us with a mysterious and poetic sensation, the melancholy of seeing things for the last time. It is as though Andrey wanted a swift way to pass his own enjoyment to others. They are something to be shared, not only a method of making his own wish to stop time come true. And they feel like a fond farewell’ – Tonino Guerra, from the Introduction to Instant Light.

The photos in the first section, taken in Russia, have the radiant melancholy of lengthening shadows and trees looming through misty dawns near Tarkovsky’s country dacha, together with portraits of his wife, son and dog, loaded with nostalgia by quotations from his later diaries. Those taken in Italy portray exquisite still lifes and glimmering ruins. The book concludes with photographs from Tarkovsky’s personal collection.

Andrey Tarkovsky, probably best-known for his 1972 film Solaris, is widely considered the finest film-maker Russia has ever produced. He died in 1986. Andrey A. Tarkovsky is his son. Giovanni Chiaramonte is a distinguished Italian photographer. Tonino Guerra is a prolific Italian screenwriter and was a great friend of Tarkovsky, with whom he worked on Nostalghia.

Tarkovsky enthusiasts will enjoy the Nostalghia website

Also of interest
Tarkovsky: Films, Stills, Polaroids & Writings
History of Film World of Art series

Cinema - The Whole Story