Sunday, 17 January 2016

Mirror - the Definite Article

I wonder are there any Russian speakers reading this ? Artificial Eye are set to release Tarkovsky's 7 feature films on BR later this year, kicking off with Ivan's Childhood in April and culminating with The Sacrifice in July. No further details so far but all 7 covers have been posted online and I'm liking them very much. Which brings me to Mirror. Previous AE editions of Tarkovsky's film, the VHS and DVD, have been under the title of Mirror but the new BR artwork suggests they've gone for the inferior title of The Mirror. This necessitated some investigation as to whether the film comes with a definite article or not and I'm still not sure - some territories added the definite article, others didn't. Foreign language titles are fluid of course, but I'm curious to know if the Russian title зеркало translates as Mirror or The Mirror... I posed the question on my Facebook page and Michael Brooke, who's reliably knowledgeable about Eastern European and Russian Cinema chimed in with:
Russian doesn't have articles, so Mirror, The Mirror and indeed A Mirror are all valid translations. Had his last film been made in Russian, it might well have reached English-speaking markets as Sacrifice - and that's undoubtedly how Tarkovsky himself would have thought of it.

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