25 Andrei Tarkovsky Quotes For Seeking Out Your Inner Artist

If you are a film lover or admire master-level directors, you will enjoy our Andrei Tarkovsky quotes. 

Considered one of the greatest directors of all time, Tarkovsky left a large footprint in the film world. 

Check out our Andrei Tarkovsky quotes to learn more. 

Who was Andrei Tarkovsky?

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky was a Russian filmmaker born on April 4, 1932. 

His work explores many themes audiences consider spiritual or metaphysical. 

He is known for slow-pacing scenes, long takes, and visual imagery.

Much of his work explores the mysteries of nature and memory. 

Check out these interesting facts about Andrei Tarkovsky below:

  • At least eight films or documentaries have been produced about his life. 
  • Tarkovsky posthumously won Russia’s highest award, the Lenin Prize, in 1990. 
  • Three of Tarkovsky’s films are on the list of one hundred greatest films of all time. 

What is Andrei Tarkovsky’s greatest film?

While Tarkovsky has many classic films under his belt, many fans would argue that his greatest film was his first film, Ivan’s Childhood

Ivan’s Childhood was released in 1962 and is based on a 1957 book by Vladimir Bogomolov. 

The movie tells the story of an orphaned boy named Ivan whose parents were murdered by invading German forces. 

Ivan’s Childhood is one of the most well-known Soviet films of its era. 

The film is recognized for its moving depiction of people during wartime. 

Ivan’s Childhood touched audiences because it did not glorify war. 

Instead, it exposed the brutal reality of how wars and invasions impact citizens. 

Who influenced Tarkovky?

As a film and art lover, Tarkovsky had many influences. 

Later, he once joked, “I am only interested in the views of two people: one is called Bresson and one called Bergman.”

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While Bresson and Bergman were influential filmmakers in his life, he also had several Russian filmmakers who influenced him, including Pudovkin, Eisenstein, Dovzhenko

Tarkovsky is a man of action who likes to express himself using metaphors. 

To honor those who inspired him, he often made movies that paid tribute to their style of direction. 

To learn more, check out our Andrei Tarkovsky quotes below. 

Short Andrei Tarkovsky quotes about the power of art

These Andrei Tarkovsky art quotes are short and sweet. 

1. “Art must give man hope and faith.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

2. “Art symbolizes the meaning of our existence.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

3. “Art can only give food a jolt, the occasion, for psychical experience.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

4. “Art must carry man’s craving for the ideal, must be an expression of his reaching out towards it.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

5. “Art only has the capacity, through shock and catharsis, to make the human soul receptive to good.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

The top Andrei Tarkovsky quotes about the film Ivan’s Childhood

6. “The work could all have been done in my head.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

7. “In all of this, I saw a pledge of my advance onto new ground.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

8. “The completion of Ivan’s Childhood marked the end of one cycle of my life, and of a process that I saw as a kind of self-determination.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

9. “It was made up of study at the Institute of Cinematography, work on a short film for my diploma, and then eight months’ work on my first feature film.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

10. “I could now assess the experience of Ivan’s Childhood, accept the need to work out clearly, albeit temporarily, my own position in the aesthetics of cinema, and set myself problems which might be solved in the course of making my next film.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

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The best Andrei Tarkovsky quotes about learning and teaching

Tarkovsky believes experience is the best teacher. 

11. “Let everything that’s been planned come true.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

12. “It’s ridiculous to imagine that people can be taught to be good.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

13. “It is obvious that art cannot teach anyone anything, since in four thousand years humanity has learned nothing at all.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

14. “Of course, people don’t learn from experience; today’s directors constantly use styles of performance that belong patently to the past.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

15. “We should long ago have become angels had we been capable of paying attention to the experience of art and allowing ourselves to be changed in accordance with the ideals it expresses.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

Famous Andrei Tarkovsky quotes about artists and creativity

His fans admire Tarkovsky for his aesthetic and commitment to art. 

16. “For only faith interlocks the system of images for which read system of life.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

17. “The poet has nothing to be proud of. He is not master of the situation, but a servant.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

18. “Creative work is his only possible form of existence, and his every work is like a deed he has no power to annul.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

19. “For him to be aware that the sequence of such deeds is due and ripe, that it lies in the very nature of things, he has to have faith in the idea.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

20. “Never try to convey your idea to the audience – it is a thankless and senseless task. Show them life, and they’ll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

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Andrei Tarkovsky quotes and sayings about the difference between symbols, images, and metaphors

Tarkovsky stresses the importance of expression through metaphor. 

21. “An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

22. “An image, as opposed to a symbol, is indefinite in meaning.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

23. “I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

24. “We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

25. “A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

Was Andrei Tarkovsky exiled? 

Tarkovsky was a man with great vision. 

Sometimes, a person’s vision can extend beyond those in their community, state, or country. 

Tarkovsky once shared, “And the more hopeless the world in the artist’s version, the more clearly perhaps must we see the ideal that stands in opposition.”

In his diaries and some interviews, he has openly expressed his disappointment with the Soviet Union’s efforts to prevent his films from being made. 

They also worked to prevent him from receiving international recognition.

The Soviet government felt that Tarkovsky’s art possessed anti-Soviet sentiment. 

At the beginning of the 1980s, he left his homeland, never to return. 

Tarkovsky is considered one of the greatest directors, and he died at 54 years old in Paris, never seeing Russia again. 

Do you have a favorite Andrei Tarkovsky quote or film?

Please be sure to let us know in the comments section below. 

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