October 5, 2010

A question every film-maker must be asked

Q: One last question, which animal would you want to be?
A: It's difficult to imagine wanting to be an animal, it would be necessary to want to descend spiritually lower, the soul would need to be paralyzed. I'd want to be the animal least dependent upon man. The existence of such an animal is strange to imagine. I don't care for any kind of romanticism, which is why I can't tell you I'd wish to be an eagle or a tiger. Perhaps I'd like to be an animal that caused the least harm possible. Our dog, Dark, is very human, he understands words, he truly feels human emotions. I fear that the dog suffers on account of this. When I had to leave Russia, he sat motionless, he no longer even looked at me.
-- Andrei Tarkovsky, interviewed by Herve Guibert, La Monde, 1983. Collected in Andrei Tarkovsky Interviews, edited by John Gianvito, the University Press of Mississippi, 2006. Image: a Tarkovksy polaroid (thanks to Giovanni Tiso, who alerted me to this page).