The Ideal Viewer | Andrei Tarkovsky, 1981

Nina Leen, 1945 
What matters to me is that the feeling excited by my films should be universal.
An artistic image is capable of arousing identical feelings in viewers, while the
thoughts that come later may be very different. If you start to search for a meaning
during the film you will miss everything that happens. 

The ideal viewer is someone who watches a film like a traveler 
watching the country he is passing through: because the effect 
of an artistic image is an extra-mental type of communication. 

There are some artists who attach
symbolic meaning to their images, but that is not possible for me. Zen poets have a good
way of dealing with this: they work to eliminate any possibility of interpretation, and in
the process a parallel arises between the real world and what the artist creates in his work…
It seems to me that the purpose of art is to prepare the human soul for the perception of good.
The soul opens up under the influence of an artistic image, and it is for this reason that we say
it helps us to communicate–but it is communication in the highest sense of the word…

My purpose as far as possible is to make films that will help people to live, even if they
sometimes cause unhappiness…art can reach to the depths of the human soul and leave
man defenseless against good.

Andrei Tarkovsky, 1981


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