A member of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences sent me a notice published in their wall newspaper:
‘The appearance of Tarkovsky’s film, Mirror, aroused wide interest in IPAS as it did all over Moscow.
By no means all who wanted to meet the director were able to do so; nor, unfortunately, was the author of this notice. None of us can understand how Tarkovsky, by means of cinema, has succeeded in producing a work of such philopsophical depths. Accustomed to films as storyline, action, characters and the usual “happy ending”, the audience looks for these things in Tarkovsky’s films, and often enough leaves disappointed.
What is this film about? It is about a Man. No, not the particular man whose voice we hear from behind the screen, played by Innokenti Smoktunovsky. It’s a film about you, your father, your grandfather, about someone who will live after you and who is still “you”. About a Man who lives on the earth, is part of the earth and the earth is a part of him, about the fact that a man is answerable for his life both to the past and to the future. You have to watch this film simply, and listen to the music of Bach and the poems of Arseny Tarkovsky; watch it as one watches the stars, or the sea, as one admires a landscape. There is no mathematical logic here, for it cannot explain what man is or what is the meaning of his life.’