<i>Mirror</i>: Traces and Transfiguration

Matilda Mroz

in Temporality and Film Analysis

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748643462
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676514 | DOI:
Mirror: Traces and Transfiguration

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that Tarkovsky's Mirror encourages a fascination with its own process of cinematic imaging, in which images of everyday objects and nature are aesthetically transfigured through camera movements, filters and disjunctive editing. Sound is also transfigured, often isolated from habitual sources and modes of hearing sound, evoking a kind of cinephilia of sound, an audiophilia. The film's movements through a series of episodes linked together through rhythm, thematic association, and patterning, reduces the importance of narrative and draws awareness to a heterogeneous temporality. As the film's narrator expresses his desire to re-enter the memories or dreams of his childhood, Mirror makes clear the fragility and creativity of memory, which can never access a ‘pure’ past. Temporality destabilizes the corporeal and gives the film's textures an ephemeral dimension that is nevertheless powerfully affective. This chapter considers how a conceptualization of time can be undertaken through the long-take and through editing. Montage sequences within the film, in which archival footage is edited together, tends to present a notion of time as a series of perceptual shocks; the long-take, on the other hand, evokes a thematic awareness of nostalgia while questioning the irretrievability of the past.

Keywords: Imaging; Aesthetics; Montage; Long-take; Memory; Nostalgia; Ephemerality; Texture; Sound

Chapter.  20949 words. 

Subjects: Film

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.