Films Recommended by Andrei Tarkovsky

Recently I finished reading the tiny book “Devotional Cinema” by Nathaniel Dorsky. The book is an absolute gem. It talks in very simple language about the devotional power of cinema. It talks about how time is one of the key elements of the art of cinema.


It reminded me about the way Andrie Tarkovsky talks about cinema. In his book “ Sculpting in Time”( that I am currently trying to finish reading) he talks about how Cinema should not try to imitate music or theater or any other art form. Cinema should aim to create something that no other art form can. And therefore he points towards the importance of time in film-making. He says film making is actually capturing time. And from my understanding and work experience as a filmmaker, I have come to realize that it is very true.


Anyways, so I got hold of this documentary on Andire Tarkovsky titled “Voyage in Time”. In the documentary there is a scene where Tonino Guerra (his co-scriptwriter for Nostalghia) asks him a few questions on behalf of his fans.


The following are the directors and films he said he would like to thank.

  • Alexander Dovzhenko – for his films, particularly “Earth or Zemlya (1930)” is a miracle from the silent era.
  • Robert Bresson – for his simplicity and aesthetics. The kind of simplicity that was achieved by Bach in Music, by Leonardo in Painting, by Tolstoy in Writing.
  • Michelangelo Antonioni – for showing him the meaning of action in cinema. He says that action in cinema is rather conditional. There is practically no action in Antonioni’s films particularly in “L’Avventura or The Adventure (1960)”.
  • Federico Fellini – for his humanity. His kindness and love of people. His intimate intonations. He mentions the film “Pale Moon Tales by Fellini” but I think he may have been referring to “La Dolce Vita (1960)”
  • Jean Vigo – Tarkovsky considered Vigo to be the father of modern French cinema. He said that Vigo found on the shores that which was there before the French new wave came. He is the farthest that any French director has ever gone to.
  • Sergei Parajanov – His way of thinking appealed to Tarkovsky. His skill of being completely free within his own creations. Hiss thinking of paradox and poetry.
  • Ingmar Bergman – for his numerous lessons on film-making.

His comments on these directors and their influence on him made me curious to know if there were other lists that Tarkovsky gave. The following is the article that I found on It is written by the film critic Leonid Kozlov.


The following is the list of top ten films that appealed to Andrie Tarkovsky.

  1. Le Journal d’un curé de campagne (Robert Bresson, 1951)
  2. Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman, 1963)
  3. Nazarin (Luis Buñuel, 1959)
  4. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
  5. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
  6. Ugetsu Monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)
  7. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
  8. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
  9. Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967)
  10. Woman of the Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1964)



7 thoughts on “Films Recommended by Andrei Tarkovsky

  1. When Tarkovsky speaks about a film he likes named “Pale Moon Tales”, he’s actually talking about the Japanese film “Tales of a Pale Moon After the Rain” (Ugetsu Monogatari), which he always mentioned as a favorite.

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