He pauses, looks back and, just at that very second, a gust of wind comes from the far side of the field, rippling the grass and reaching the branches in the foreground. I've no idea how Tarkovsky did it - I can't imagine he had a wind machine. I'm never that impressed when I see great special effects in American movies. But that gust of wind in Mirror floored me. It has a feeling of being utterly natural.
The shading of the emotions is so delicate. At first the doctor seems threatening, then comical, and then the scene becomes wistful and mysterious towards the end. There's this tremendous sense of longing; as he walks away, it feels incredibly lonely. We never see that character again and I've always felt sorry that we don't find out more about him.
Tarkovsky complained all his life that if he'd been in the West he'd have been able to work more. But he'd have gone crazy. Most of my heroes have been arthouse film-makers, but how would you ever sell something like Mirror here? You'd never get past the pitch stage.
Richard Stanley directed 'Hardware'. His new film, 'Dust Devil', is at the Scala Cinema until 28 April. 'Mirror' is released on video by Artificial Eye at pounds 15.99.
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