Film Study: How Andrei Tarkovsky Inspired ‘The Revenant’

The other day I was doing some exploring on the interwebs (as I so often do) and I came across an incredible video edit made by The Petrick, a direction/animation company based in Moscow, Russia. The less than three minute clip is a side by side comparison of 17 scenes from several of Andrei Tarvovsky’s earlier works, to Alejandro Iñárritu’s The Revenant (2015). You can check out the full video for yourself, below.

The Revenant vs. Stalker

 

I was so taken by the clip that I decided to contact the creators and ask them some questions about the project, simply to satisfy my own curiosity. I was able to get in touch with Misha Petrick, the head producer of the company and she was kind enough to write me back. I asked her what drove her to create this piece and humbly, this is what she had to say:

“The idea of making The Revenant by Tarkovsky hasn’t came into my mind while I was watching a movie – I’ve heard about the influence that Andrei Tarkovsky‘s films had on Iñárritu’s movie, and a couple days ago I saw an article with a few shots with a comparison. After that I immediately started to review films of Andrei Tarkovsky as well as The Revenant to find more references. I managed to find 17 scenes from the each side and they perfectly fit in the main theme from The Revenant. I was in a hurry to finish it because it seemed to me that someone could make the same cut right now because the similarities between the two films were so obvious. In my opinion Lubezki cites Tarkovsky in his work not for the first time, for example The Tree of Life is very similar to Tarkovsky’s The Mirror. I hope that these videos will be useful for those who are just beginning to understand the language of cinema, or making films themselves.” – Misha Petrick

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 17.51.37

So there you have it. If you’ve yet to experience any of Tarvovsky or Iñárritu’s work I highly suggest that you do. If you have seen these films, what did you think about the parallels shown in the video above? What other inspirations did you notice? What are your thoughts on these films now that you’ve seen this? I’m incredibly curious and would love to hear what you have to say in the comments.

For more fantastic film tributes and analyses such as this, you can follow The Petrick on Vimeo.

 

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3 thoughts on “Film Study: How Andrei Tarkovsky Inspired ‘The Revenant’

  1. Thought-provoking post. It touches me deeply when I sense any kind of plagiarism being committed. The question is at what stage something stops being an inspiration and becomes plain copying. I personally don’t like Inarritu films and this is also because I do not feel his films are “genuine”, and I think he has little insight into how to construct a good plot. I rated the Revenant high on my blog largely because of DiCaprio’s performance and a true-story interest. You may also be interested in this post – Inarritu’s “Birdman” and Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” comparison: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/birdman-and-bullets-over-broadway-homage-or-plagiarism-10065945.html

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    1. You make a very good point, there’s an incredibly fine line between inspiration and plagiarism and Mr. Inarritu is certain;y tip-toeing on it. I personally enjoy his films very much, but I can respect where you’re coming from. I’ll check out the article you linked right now, thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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