Free Online: Watch the Films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Arguably the Most Respected Filmmaker of All Time

If you enjoy film in an even slight­ly seri­ous way, you’ve sure­ly heard the name Andrei Tarkovsky brought up dozens and dozens of times, some­times — or, if you run in cinephilic cir­cles, invari­ably — in the con­text of ver­tig­i­nous­ly high praise. Film-lovers wor­ship Tarkovsky, as do many oth­er film­mak­ers: no less an auteur than Ing­mar Bergman called him “the best of them all” (after dis­miss­ing Godard as “affect­ed” and Hitch­cock as “infan­tile”), “the one who invent­ed a new lan­guage, true to the nature of film, as it cap­tures life as a reflec­tion, life as a dream.”

Oth­er artists, too, have paid Tarkovsky trib­ute: Geoff Dyer devot­ed an entire book not to the direc­tor’s career, but to just one of his movies, Stalk­er (see its orig­i­nal trail­er above). As we told you five years ago, and it deserves repeat­ing again, you can watch Stalk­er (here) free onlinealong with oth­er major Tarkovsky films. Stalk­er alone can give you a pow­er­ful sense of just why the sev­en fea­ture films Tarkovsky left behind when he died in 1986 have only drawn more acco­lades over time. And it will per­haps whet your appetite to start watch­ing four oth­er Tarkovsky films free online on this page, includ­ing his 15th-cen­tu­ry Russ­ian icon-painter biopic (to only par­tial­ly describe it) Andrei Rublev and his Stanis­law Lem adap­ta­tion (and “answer to 2001: A Space Odyssey”) Solaris. 

You can also watch 1975’s Mir­ror, which some Tarkovsky enthu­si­asts con­sid­er his great­est work. If you do watch it, bear in mind the Bergman quote above: if the best of all film­mak­ers won that title by ren­der­ing life as a dream, then it only stands to rea­son that Mir­ror, the most dream­like of all his work, would rise to the top of his fil­mog­ra­phy. It will make you under­stand why, despite the hun­dreds and thou­sands of pages on Tarkovsky’s work writ­ten by crit­ics, aca­d­e­mics, and pure fans, you can only appre­ci­ate these films through direct expe­ri­ence. As with the dif­fi­cul­ty of describ­ing a dream com­pelling­ly in words, text can’t do jus­tice to Tarkovsky, but when you watch one of his cin­e­mat­ic dreams, you dream it along with him — and like the most vivid dreams, frag­ments of them will stick with you for­ev­er.

Note: The Tarkovsky films list­ed above were put online by the offi­cial Youtube chan­nel of Mos­film, the stu­dio for which Tarkovsky made the films.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Tarkovsky Films Now Free Online

Watch Solaris (1972), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Haunt­ing Vision of the Future

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris Shot by Shot: A 22-Minute Break­down of the Director’s Film­mak­ing

“Auteur in Space”: A Video Essay on How Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris Tran­scends Sci­ence Fic­tion

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mas­ter­piece Stalk­er Gets Adapt­ed into a Video Game

Watch Stalk­er, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mind-Bend­ing Mas­ter­piece Free Online

A Poet in Cin­e­ma: Andrei Tarkovsky Reveals the Director’s Deep Thoughts on Film­mak­ing and Life

Andrei Tarkovsky Cre­ates a List of His 10 Favorite Films (1972)

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Very First Films: Three Stu­dent Films, 1956–1960

Col­in Mar­shall writes else­where on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­maand the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future? Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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