Dream Elements in Cinema: Tarkovsky's Mirror
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This analysis discusses the dream elements embedded in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Mirror (1975). The fundamental focus is directed towards exploring the role these dream elements play in terms of shaping aesthetics and overall cinematic experience. The first part of the research delves deeper into the roots of the discourse surrounding cinema and dreams, and investigates the functioning of the film medium through the writings of apparatus’ theorists Jean-Louis Baudry and Christian Metz. In the second part of the research, Tarkovsky’s Mirror is examined using the textual analysis method. In order to point out how the oneiric quality of the film is achieved, a more detailed analysis of the narrative, cinematography and sound is done based on the film protocol (film’s segmentation into its constituting sequences and shot analysis). The analysis uncovers the hidden patterns and structure of the film as well as the way the filmmaker employs mentioned cinematic means to achieve a dreamlike quality of mirror. The research demonstrates a specific Russian director’s approach to filmmaking as a rather unconventional usage of cinematic techniques is accentuated. The analysis showcases how particular solutions in terms of the narrative, cinematography and sound contribute to creating a degree of ambiguity and oneiric feel of the film. The research suggests that the dreamlike space in terms of mirror is constructed by the means of coordinating a variety of cinematic techniques in a specific way. It is showed that the film itself not only depicts dream processes but also functions as a dream (obeys to its own principles of logic). Hence, the oneiric quality of the film highlights the metaphysical dimension of mirror and stimulates absorption. Lastly, it is highlighted that the strategy of disorientation can also be employed in an absorptive way in order to enchant the spectator and induce a similar sensation to the one stimulated by the cinematographic apparatus.