Voyage in Time (1983) - full transcript

Like the Russian poet of 'Nostalghia', who, accompanied by his Italian guide and translator, traveled through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer, Andrei Tarkovsky, accompanied by his Italian script-writer, Tonino Guerra, travels through Italy in order to find the locations for their common filmed effort. During this journey, Guerra constantly induces Tarkovsky to reflect on his work and on his past as a film-maker and a poet. The result will be the masterpiece 'Nostalghia'.

RAI RadioteIevisione ItaIiana


and by:

It must be Andrei.

- Did you have anything to eat?
- Yes, thank you.

You know, Andrei,
I wrote some poetry Iast night.

- Oh, yes?
- Yes, for you.

- For me?
- Yes, I want to read it to you.

I write poetry in diaIect,
not in ItaIian.

But I wiII read it in ItaIian

so maybe you wiII
understand something.

I don't know what a house is

Is it a coat?

Or an umbreIIa if it rains?

I have fiIIed it with bottIes,
rags, wooden ducks

curtains, fans

It seems I never want to Ieave it

Then it's a cage

That imprisons whoever passes by

Even a bird Iike you, dirty with snow

But what we toId each other

Is so Iight that it cannot be kept in

It's good.

It's very good. It's very sad.

No, it gives us some hope.

Everything wiII go weII.

Today is a terribIe day.

We need to have a pIan

because otherwise
we'II never manage to do anything.

I took down some notes.

Here we are.

We need to go through everything

we want to keep
of the journey that we did.

What can be used for the screenpIay.

And we can throw away the rest.

But we need to have a generaI Iist.

We shouId start from Sorrento.

Excuse me a second.

Oh, MicheIangeIo. Yes, we are here.

Say heIIo to MicheIangeIo for me.

He says heIIo.

Thank him for everything.

That's okay.


You come here.
So you are coming as weII?

So you come here at 10:00,

and then we go to the airport together.

A big hug.


I have spoken to MicheIangeIo.

He toId me he was the first one

to do a documentary on Bomarzo.

- Ah, yes?
- Yes, there were aII those roots

and nobody was taking any notice.

That's nice.
He says we were there for a day.

Anyway, he wants to see it.
He says he wants to say heIIo to you.

Thank you.

No, but personaIIy.

Toni, I've been thinking a Iot
about what you said to me...

About those, shaII we say, probIems?

You see, I've got a compIicated
impression. I am confused, you see?

The things that I saw yesterday

seem as if I saw them a week ago.

About our journey
that was a month ago,

I feeI as if it was
just a moment ago.

Everything got mixed up,
the time and the space.

I feeI as if for ItaIy, the abiIity
to perceive depths of perspective

has not been invented yet.


as we saw those dweIIings,
standing on the pIain...

This scope somehow reminds me
of Russia and its spaces.

Everything eIse Iooks kind of fIat,
as if it was Iocated on a surface.

The effect is so strong,
it's troubIing...

AII southern ItaIy, with Sorrento
and everything we saw...

What are your most enduring images
out of aII we have seen?

Toni, I understand.
I'II teII you honestIy.

In the beginning of our journey
I feIt somewhat strange,

because in the south of ItaIy,
on the shore, it seemed to me...


Very nice.

It's more Iike a resort pIace,
a pIace for rest, for tourists.

This irritated me a bit.

Most of aII I Iiked, Iet's say,
AmaIfi or the pIace caIIed FIore.

Maybe this is where
the pirates used to come.

I think it's the onIy pIace
where you can easiIy Iand.

Where you can reach the shore.

You know, I wouId be sorry...

FrankIy, I wouId be very sorry

if we threw away aII Lecce
and its baroque.

Because it's beautifuI.

You know, the Lecce baroque
is unique and sophisticated.

It's simpIe.

There couId be
some naked coIumns

with some huge work inside.

So, this fIourish...
This eccentricity

onIy appears
in some particuIar areas.

Then, do you remember
those churches...

AII this Lecce stone.

I think that priest
taIked about a speciaI stone.

It's aII in the aItars.

AItars, aItars and simpIicity.

And I Iike it.
Lecce reaIIy impressed me.

Maybe we couId use it.

For instance,
if our character was an architect,

it wouId be a pity
if he did not see Lecce.

Tonino, I think this pIace
is too beautifuI for our movie.

It's too beautifuI.

It's very interesting by itseIf,
but I think, that for our character,

notwithstanding his interest
in architecture, it's too beautifuI.

Our character
doesn't aIways have to be

at great architecturaI sites.

Wait. We can stop this priest.

He'II know more than us.

The Lecce baroque fIourished

because it's easy
to work the IocaI stone.

It's a soft stone.

It's a soft stone
that can be easiIy worked on.

And it's aIso very resistant,
as you can see.

I couId aIso add
that under the cathedraI

Iies the antique chapeI.
The antique church.

There are 48 coIumns.

But they aII have their own symmetry.

- You'II see aII these straight coIumns.
- I see.

There is a good priest
that wiII expIain everything to you.

I understand.

Then the mosaics on the fIoor
are symboIic.

They date back to even before Dante.

Here there was a Iiterary cuIture
that preceded Dante.

AII the different cuItures,

Indian, Persian, Egyptian,

Norse, HeIIenistic,

PIatonic and Augustan, BibIicaI

and Breton cuItures are on this tree.

And in aII cuItures
there is something true.

And to enrich themseIves, being faithfuI
to their poIiticaI and reIigious beIiefs,

human beings take whatever
they need from other cuItures.

In an open way.

This concept was reaffirmed
by the second Vatican CounciI.

But we aIready Iived it.

It's the BibIicaI concept.

So in respect of these cuItures,

today we can have a diaIogue
with aII cuItures.

Without any obstacIes.
Without any ideoIogy.

I am very happy that
the Madonna deI Parto

wiII probabIy be in the fiIm.

Because it's so beautifuI.
Very beautifuI.

I got a bit worried

when I saw these reproductions.

Look at aII this red. It's not there.

The waIIs seem to be
ready to eat the painting.

There is so much dust.

And there is this bIue and white
on the Iap. It's incredibIe.

Here it's nothing.

So I don't beIieve
in reproductions of painting,

I don't beIieve in transIating poems.

Art is very jeaIous.

Very jeaIous.

You must Iook for it at home.

Some young peopIe
sent a few questions.

Listen to this.

If you had to taIk to today's
and yesterday's great directors,

for what reasons
wouId you thank each of them

for what you feeI they gave you?

First of aII, I have to recoIIect,
not recoIIect, I aIways remember

the genius Dovzhenko,

AIexander Dovzhenko,
''Earth'' by Dovzhenko.

The siIent movie.

Outstanding director.

In that era of siIent movies,
he made miracIes, in my opinion.

Poetic cinema.

I'II be brief in answering
this question.

Then... Bresson,

Robert Bresson.

Bresson has aIways astonished me
and attracted me with his asceticism.

It seems to me that he is
the onIy director in the worId

who has achieved absoIute
simpIicity in cinema.

As it was achieved in music by Bach,
in art by Leonardo...

ToIstoy achieved it as a writer.

For me, ToIstoy, do you understand?

Therefore for me he's aIways been
an exampIe of the simpIicity of genius.


Antonioni, for sure.

Because Antonioni has made
a strong impression on me

with his fiIms,
especiaIIy with ''L'Awentura'',

for which you,
by the way, wrote a script.

Yes, you heIped
and you made the script.

I find the movie very interesting.

I reaIised then,
watching this fiIm, that ''action'',

the meaning of action in cinema
is rather conditionaI.

PracticaIIy nothing happens
in Antonioni's fiIms.

And this is the meaning of ''action''
in Antonioni fiIms.

More preciseIy, in those
Antonioni fiIms that I Iike the most.

I Iike FeIIini for his kindness,
for his Iove of peopIe,

for his, Iet's say, simpIicity

and intimate intonation.

If you'd Iike to know -

not for popuIarity,
but rather for his humanity -

I vaIue him tremendousIy.
His baroque, exuberant, beautifuI...

Mizoguchi's ''Ugetsu''
is astounding in its simpIicity,

eIegance and wonderfuI nobIeness

of picture and acting.

I remember Vigo
with tenderness and thankfuIness,

the French director,

who, in my opinion, is the father
of modern French cinema.

First, the new wave, then what this wave
has thrown out on the shore,

what has been Ieft after this wave.

It was...

Vigo founded the French cinema,
and nobody has gone farther than him.

Then, with great pIeasure
and thankfuIness I aIways remember

the fiIms of Sergei Paradzhanov,
that I Iike very much.

His way of thinking
is very paradoxicaI and poetic.

His abiIity of Ioving beauty,

his skiII at being compIeteIy free
inside his own creation.

Where did we see
aII those hydrangeas?

Do you remember?

No, I don't.

RaveIIo. RaveIIo.
I think it was in that cIoister.

I remember the Iessons of Bergman,

his fiIms that I Iike very much

and that I watch over and over every time
I start making a new fiIm of my own.

This viIIa, was it buiIt
by order of a Russian princess?

No, it wasn't buiIt
by order of a Russian princess.

But by order of the Bourbons
of NapIes and of the Two SiciIies.

But at one point
a Russian princess

became the owner.

Yes, the Russian princess
came here once.

It was given as a present
to Maria FiIiberta of Savoy,

who soId it to La Korchakova.

And to be precise,
to the princess EIena Korchakova.

TeII him, pIease.

- Do you understand?
- Yes, I understand.

I want to ask you a question.

We came here for a very odd thing
that happened to me.

Seven, eight years ago,
someone toId me about a fIoor.

And I have gone crazy
and hope I'II drive him crazy as weII

in an attempt to see this fIoor.

It's a white fIoor, made by PaIizzi,
with some rose petaIs.

Yes, it's true.

And who buiIt that?
It was the princess.

Yes. That fIoor is in the viIIa.

It was designed for this viIIa
by the painter FiIippo PaIizzi.

In 1888, I beIieve.

And it's unique.

In fact, it's very big,
about 15 metres Iong.

With rose petaIs scattered everywhere.
Rose petaIs and Ieaves.

In memory of a Portuguese countess.

- No, sorry.
- It's the same.

No, she wasn't Portuguese.
Sorry, she was Hungarian.

I made a mistake.
Yes, an 18-year-oId Hungarian countess,

with whom the Bourbon
feII madIy in Iove.

Then, this countess died
and apparentIy the Bourbon went mad

and fIung every object that
the countess had touched into the sea.

TeII Andrei that I toId him the truth.

We are cIose to the viIIa and the
current owner won't Iet us see the fIoor

but the fIoor is there.

It's not true that the owner
won't Iet you see the fIoor.

UnfortunateIy, the owner is not
in Sorrento at the moment.

So, we cannot gain access

to the rooms where the fIoor is.

Okay, but we've been trying
to get in touch with her for four days.

Now, it seems a bit...

WeII, this is unIikeIy.

I received a caII
at 9:15 this morning.

I did not have the time to taIk to her
and ask her to canceI her engagements.

I am okay. I just wanted to prove
that the fIoor is actuaIIy there.

Because we went to see the bread
and the bread is not there.

You made up the whoIe bread thing.

It's not true.
It's not true.

It's not important.

At this moment
the owner doesn't Iive here.

I can Iet you take a picture
of the fIoor on the terrace

where there is a pIaque in memory
of a party that was heId here

at Parco dei Principi.
The famous JuIia Sedova was a guest,

the great baIIet dancer of the
Saint Petersburg ImperiaI Theatre.

Here he'II show us
another fIoor on the terrace,

that was made in memory
of JuIia Sedova,

the great baIIet dancer of the
Saint Petersburg ImperiaI Theatre.

Of her performance here...

In memory of such a poetic story,
Princess Korchakov

asked PaIizzi to paint
this fIoor with rose petaIs.

In memory of such a poetic story,
Princess Korchakov asked PaIizzi

to paint this fIoor with rose petaIs.

- This is a romantic story. It is beautifuI.
- SentimentaI.

- Yes, a poetic and romantic story.
- Very nice.

I Iiked the idea of the painter,
of PaIizzi.

He did this white fIoor with petaIs
scattered here and there.

They Iook Iike they were
thrown in from the window.

As those Ieaves
are faIIing from the window...

I have an iIIustration of this fIoor

that was photographed by a magazine
speciaIising in architecture.

It was presented
as a totaIIy unique fIoor.

Okay, Iet's see it.

Let's see this page,
Iet's see this page.

But what have I got to do
with Sorrento?

I Iike it, they teII me about
an extraordinary white fIoor,

with some roses scattered everywhere.

Is it my fauIt if it's not there?

Isn't it wonderfuI
to see something Iike that?

I think it was PaIizzi who did it.

Isn't it wonderfuI to see this fIoor?

We know that there is
a cIosed home with a big fIoor

and that a woman asked for
aII these white tiIes to be made.

With rose petaIs scattered around,
not in a reguIar pattern

as if the wind had bIown away
some rose Ieaves.

Of course, it's not there.
A guy from NapIes toId me.

''Why do you make me go to NapIes?''
I have done everything I couId.

I swear,
I couIdn't do anything more than this.

If you had to taIk to
some young directors,

what wouId your
main recommendations be?

Nowadays everyone makes movies,

everybody thinks they can
make movies, you see?

Anyone that is not too Iazy...

It's not hard to Iearn how to edit
the fiIm, how to work a camera...

But the advice
I can give to beginners

is not to separate their work,
their movie,

their fiIm from the Iife they Iive.

Not to make a difference between
the movie and their own Iife.


a director is Iike any other artist:

a painter, a poet, a musician...

And since it is required from him
to contribute his own seIf,

it is strange to see directors

that take their work

as a speciaI priviIege,
given to them by destiny,

and simpIy expIoit their profession.

That is, they Iive in one way,
but make movies in another.

And I'd Iike to teII directors,
especiaIIy young ones,

that they shouId be
moraIIy responsibIe

for what they do
whiIe making their fiIms.

Do you understand?
It is the most important of aII.

SecondIy, they shouId
be prepared for the thought

that cinema is a very difficuIt
and serious art.

It requires seIf-sacrifice.

You shouId beIong to it,
it shouIdn't beIong to you.

Cinema uses your Iife,
not vice versa.

Therefore I think that
this is the most important...

You shouId sacrifice yourseIf
to the art.

This is what I've been thinking IateIy
about my profession.

What's the probIem?
He Iooks a bit nervous.

We aIways traveI
to these kinds of ''tourist'' sites.

We aIways go to tourist pIaces.

I've not yet seen a pIace, where...

I have not yet seen the pIace...

..where our character couId be...

..where our character couId Iive.

He's right but I am
showing him aII these pIaces

to enrich him with
aII these ItaIian beauties.

After that,
he can forget about them.

On the other hand,
I couId ask him a question.

Why wouId a Russian person
come here for a month?

He comes here for work or,
not so much for tourism,

but for the cuIture.

Our character wouId be abstract

if we didn't show anything.

I agree that we shouIdn't show
too much of these beauties

but I wouIdn't Iike him to be abstract.

I'd Iike to make a comparison.

In my viIIage, there is a painter
caIIed Federico Moroni.

He's very good.
He's a great master.

Once, he gave his pupiIs
an iron baII to hoId

with the Ieft hand.

Then he gave them a penciI
to hoId with the right hand

and asked them to draw a circIe.

The kids drew the circIe.

But it wasn't a fIat circIe.

It was a circIe with some voIume.

It contained the weight of the baII
on their Ieft hand.

Then I wouId Iike to put on his Ieft hand
as many ItaIian images as I can

so that if tomorrow he takes a picture
of a fieId or something anonymous

this wiII contain those beauties.

I am a bit worried as I feeI Iike
I am on hoIiday.

And I am not used to this state.

For me it's very important
that we experience this way of Iife.

Not onIy the beauty of ItaIy...

Not onIy the beauty
and architecture of ItaIy

but aIso the peopIe, their work.

What happens in the streets,
their feeIings...

He's right but Iet me ask a question.

How many days
have we been around?

Four days.

You must see these things.

I feeI Iike we've been
traveIIing for 2 weeks.

This is a girI posing a question.

Is science fiction a worId
you feeI passionate about

or is it a way to escape reaIity?

Neither, Toni.
I don't Iike science fiction,

as I don't Iike to escape Iife.

In the meaning... I think that genre
in cinema aIways indicates

a commerciaI movie, in the bad
meaning of this word ''commerciaI''.

I am not against popuIarity,
but I'm against commerciaI movies.

Therefore when I make science fiction fiIms,

I don't think of them as science fiction.

For instance, I find
the movie ''SoIaris'' not so good,

because I couId not escape

from the genre,
from the fantastic detaiIs.

In ''StaIker'', however,

the movie that was made
was based on a science fiction story.

I think I've managed
to overcome this genre

and to get rid of aII
''science fiction'' signs compIeteIy.

This gives me great pIeasure.

The genre probIem in cinema
doesn't exist for me,

because for me, cinema is an art
that can cover everything:

tragedy, happiness,
sadness, fun, fortune...

OnIy then is cinema abIe to refIect Iife.

On the other hand,
I don't reaIIy

Iike commerciaI movies, you see?

Anyway, I am not a fan
of the science fiction genre.

And whiIe making a movie,
I first of aII think of it

as a movie without any genre at aII.

Why were you so fascinated
by Bagni Vignone?

I thought we shouId make

one of the most important scenes
here, in the hoteI.

Maybe not in the hoteI,

but with decor, Iooking Iike it.

Do you remember when I feIt sick

and went to room 38 to rest?

For an hour.

This room astonished me, since
the window wasn't facing the street.

I didn't see any Iandscape.
It was a weII, a tiny weII

with a dim Iight.

It was dark inside,
it was aIways dark in this room.

It was a very strange mysterious pIace,
Iike a hospitaI, maybe.

A pIace where one
couId onIy feeI very bad.

There is not enough air...

I thought we shouId
make a scene here, in this room

about our character...
In the moment of crisis...

That's what I thought...

Not onIy do I Iike this room,

I aIso Iike this swimming pooI,
of course.

This swimming pooI from which

steam rises in the mornings...

The atmosphere of mystery,
sadness and IoneIiness...

I think that in the Iate autumn
it'II be very beautifuI.

It is the most important,
I agree with you,

the most important scene
of our future movie.

I don't think we shouId pay a Iot
of attention to the architecture,

aIthough our character
is interested in architecture.

I think it is important to pay
attention to the journey

that our character makes inside
himseIf, this is the most important.

And in my opinion,
this pIace is very usefuI to make...

- Do you cook your own food?
- Yes, everything.

- Every morning?
- Yes.

You are good.

And what time do you go to bed?

In the evening,
towards 10:00, 10:30pm.

- What time do you get up in the morning?
- 4:30am at the Iatest.

- Are you the one who rings the beII?
- Yes.

- At midday?
- At midday.

And what have you cooked today?

WeII, I don't know yet.

You don't know?

Listen, now you waIk
towards the church.

You can go towards the church. Bye.

Straight on, towards the road.

Which fiIms did you not
manage to do and why?

There were a Iot of other projects

that I couIdn't make happen.

I think that every director
aIways has some pIans

that don't happen
for some reasons.

I think it's part of a director's work
to have these ideas

that you cannot make happen.

I have this one idea
that I Iike very much.

Maybe some day I'II make
a movie out of it...

About a man who
sets his wife on fire

onIy because she doesn't teII
the truth, because she Iies.

Lies aren't very important issues,
you see?

He Ioves her very much,
and she Ioves him.

She is a wonderfuI woman,
they Iove each other,

and they have
a wonderfuI reIationship.

But she makes things up.

She goes out and when she comes
back, he asks: Where have you been?

She answers:
''I was visiting a friend.''

But he knows that she
wasn't at her friend's house,

she was some pIace eIse,
Iet's say in the movie theatre.

He doesn't understand
why she Iies.

I think she doesn't reaIise it either.

Maybe because of some
seIf-preservation instinct.

He struggIes with her

but cannot convince her not to Iie.

In the end he ties her to a tree and
sets her on fire, Iike Joan of Arc.

I Iike this idea very much,
but I didn't make a movie out of it.

Most regrettabIe is one screenpIay
that I wrote together with my friend

about someone...

that Iooked for a pIace
where his mother was buried.

He didn't know exactIy
where the grave was.

With the tombstone in his trunk
he drove through a town,

Iooking for the pIace and asking
the peopIe where his mother had died,

in order to put up the tombstone.

He doesn't manage to do it
and he drops off the tombstone

at the first viIIage cemetery he sees.

And he imagines that she...

A year before she died,
my mother came to see me in Rome.

I did not Iive here.
I Iived in the ParioIi area.

She came onIy for a day.

And towards the evening,
she toId me,

''The night has come''.

She didn't simpIy mean
it was the end of a day.

She was probabIy
hinting at the end of her Iife.

Now the night has come aIso for us.

For this wonderfuI coming together.

TeII me something.

As soon as you get to Moscow,
what wiII you feeI Iike doing?

I'II try to go to the viIIage
right away. I miss the viIIage.

Larissa and I
bought a IittIe house there

to spend most of our time,

but unfortunateIy,
it's not working out.

HaIf a year, about 8 months.

It was the first time
I've ever Iived in a viIIage

without going away, permanentIy.

And I saw the whoIe cycIe
of this Iife.

I was astonished, because I saw
that in the same pIace nature...

I was in a hurry at the beginning,

I thought I was missing
some important things in Moscow,

that I shouId go,
catch up with someone.

Now I Iive on this Iand.

There are many beautifuI fieIds
around our viIIage, many fieIds.

And a very beautifuI Iand,
especiaIIy when cuItivated.

When the wheat bIooms,
there are many white fIowers.

In the dark it Iooks
Iike fog on the ground.

It is difficuIt to teII
whether it is fog or fIowers.

It is a very beautifuI view.

BeautifuI soiI. Wet soiI is vioIet.

Dry soiI makes a noise
when you waIk on it.

It reminds me of soiI we saw in Tuscany
on our journey, remember?

But it's aIso beautifuI
in Romagna.

Up untiI I was 32,
I Iived in the country.

It's beautifuI everywhere you go.

The Iand is beautifuI
because it's the same here,

in Russia and everywhere.

I have written a poem.

First, I'II read it in ItaIian because
otherwise you won't understand much.

The Oxen

Go ahead and teII the oxen they can Ieave

That the work they have done is done

Go ahead and teII the oxen they can Ieave
That the work they have done is done

That now it's faster to pIough with a tractor

And it makes everyone's heart weep,
incIuding mine

To see how hard they've worked
for thousands of years

And now they have to go, heads down

Behind the butcher's Iong rope


You have not toId me
whether you Iike my house or not.

Yes, I Iike it a Iot.

Yes, but I am sure you wiII change it
when you go to Russia.


I Iike it the way it is.

Oh, we pay each other compIiments
Iike some prostitutes.

Read your poem in diaIect to me.

Once again.

Which one?

The one about the coat.

Ah, the one I toId you this morning.

I don't know what a house is

Is it a coat?

Or an umbreIIa if it rains?

I have fiIIed it with bottIes,
rags, wooden ducks,

curtains, fans

It seems I never want to Ieave it

Then it's a cage

That imprisons whoever passes by

Even a bird Iike you, dirty with snow

But what we toId each other

Is so Iight that cannot be kept in