Sunday, 15 February 2009

Mirror - the missing captions

The UK Artificial Eye VHS edition of Tarkovsky's Mirror carried captions to identify segments of newsreel footage scattered throughout the first hour of the film. Curiously, only this VHS edition contains these captions, they do not appear in any other subsequent English-language video releases of the film. Where the captions originated from is something of a mystery, perhaps they were listed in program notes which accompanied screenings of the film. Whether Tarkovsky would have sanctioned these captions is another issue, but I personally find them illuminating and a welcome addition to the film.

The captions were taken exactly as they appeared in the Artificial Eye VHS edition released in 1992. However, the timings are an approximation of where the captions would appear had they been in the 2002 Artificial Eye DVD. (The screenshots used are for illustrative purposes only and are not based on where the captions would appear onscreen, although in most cases they're close.)

"Spanish Civil War" (38 minutes 47 seconds)
"Record Breaking ascent to stratosphere by Soviet balloon" (39:46)
"Soviet troops crossing Sivage lagoon, Crimea 1944" (57:04)
"Soviet troops liberate Prague, 1945" (60:44)
"Moscow victory parade" (61:03)
"First atomic bomb, Hiroshima, 1945" (61:07)
"China, 1969" (62:07)
"Soviet border guards confront Chinese demonstrators, Damansky Island, 1969" (62:25)

"Spanish Civil War"

"Record Breaking ascent to stratosphere by Soviet balloon"

"Soviet troops crossing Sivage lagoon, Crimea 1944"

"Soviet troops liberate Prague, 1945"

"Moscow victory parade"

"First atomic bomb, Hiroshima, 1945"

"China, 1969"

"Soviet border guards confront Chinese demonstrators, Damansky Island, 1969"

2 comments:

  1. What an incredible find! I can see both sides of having/not having them.

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  2. Thanks Craig... I originally wrote this for submission to the Tarkovsky website but they didn't do much with it (I think you might be able to find it buried somewhere in their news archive) so I thought I'd post it here and maybe give it a wider platform...

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