Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 14:30


Andrej Tarkovskij, Tonino Guerra

Debate with Sergio ToffettiStefano Ballirano (Istituto Luce), Andrej A. Tarkovskij and Andrea Guerra


Wednesday 26/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

The material for Tempo di viaggio was shot while Tarkovsky was preparing for Nostalghia with his scriptwriter Tonino Guerra. It was shown for the first time many years later, in May 1995, in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, nine years after Tarkovsky’s death. It documents the reconnaissance for locations in southern and central Italy, as well as the research undertaken by both artists. Tarkovsky is wary of suggestions for beautiful settings that he deems too ‘touristy’, he listens to Guerra reciting his poetry in the Romagnolo dialect, and answers in-depth questions about his work and the directors he admires: Bresson, Antonioni, Dovzhenko… The journey shows research for a film they intend to make, and a search for strong, hidden feelings: nostalghia. Tarkovsky, like his travelling companion, doesn’t believe in copies of paintings or in translations of poetry. And he is convinced that there is an element of extreme insecurity and protectiveness in art. Credited to Tarkovsky and Tonino Guerra according to canonical hierarchy, which gives the director precedence, Tempo di viaggio documents the creative origins of Nostalghia, featuring location scouting, long conversations and poetic interludes… The journey reveals insurmountable gaps, even between the two poet-collaborators: one speaks Italian, the other answers in Russian. The similarity in sound between the two languages creates a mysterious bridge of communication, or at least it appears to. There are also solemn pronouncements, like the comment on the ploughed land in the hills of Siena: “Land is beautiful because it is the same, narrates Guerra, “the same here, in Russia, everywhere”… The place that captures Tarkovsky’s attention is Bagno Vignoni: archaic, poor and decaying, filled with steam from its hot spring baths. It is here that the sacred can truly be felt. It is here that he finds the atmosphere that will characterise Nostalghia – the shared open rooms, the sheets, the furniture; the agonising (and glorious) sense of waiting. Just as the closing shot of a photograph of a snowy landscape foreshadows the feeling of the roofless church in Nostalghia, and a careful scan of the gestures and objects of a home (Guerra’s) evokes a faraway Russia. Tempo di viaggio is somewhere between an examination of work and a lyrical documentary; between the gradual approach to a still-vague project and the fusion of elements of the final result. 

Tullio Masoni, Paolo Vecchi, Andrej Tarkovskij, Il Castoro, Milan 1997   

Cast and Credits

Sog., Scen.: Andrej Tarkovskij, Tonino Guerra. F.: Luciano Tovoli. M.: Franco Letti. Int.: Andrej Tarkovskij, Tonino Guerra. Prod.: Genius, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana. DCP.