The aesthetics of overflow: Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia (1983) in duration

Mroz, Matilda (2014) The aesthetics of overflow: Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia (1983) in duration. In: Brown, Christopher and Hirsch, Pam (eds.) The cinema of the swimming pool. New studies in European cinema (17). Peter Lang. ISBN 9783034317832

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This chapter argues that the space of the thermal pool is central to Tarkovsky’s exploration of the mystery of sacrifice and the pain of exile in Nostalghia. Spatially, the geometry and textures of the pool are echoed throughout the film’s interiors, in hotel corridors and cathedrals. I propose that we can see Tarkovsky’s aesthetic in Nostalgia as one of overflow. The water that initially fills the pool overflows into nearly every scene, as interiors of houses are flooded in dream-like visions, and the echoing sound of dripping water is omnipresent. Thematically, the film explores the way in which past and present, memory and dream, and the spaces of home and exile flow into each other, using techniques of superimposition. I argue that such overflowing, in both theme and aesthetic, can be productively read in conjunction with Henri Bergson’s theories of duration, in which variegated temporal rhythms continually bleed into each other. Nostalgia’s pool forms a space of becoming, where place and identity is continually in flux.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: duration, temporality, film-philosophy, Tarkovsky, nostalgia, space, cinema
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0045 Theory. Philosophy. Esthetics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
Depositing User: Matilda Mroz
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 07:26
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 07:26
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