not in our stars, but in ourselves
There’s been a terrific quiz going around today, from Bright Ideas, to tell you which twentieth-century auteur you are. As time-wasters go, it’s a good one, and quite edifying, in a quick and easy way. (I kept getting Satyajit Ray, which reminds me that I really need to watch The Apu Trilogy, since it’s been languishing on our DVR since…uh…last year.) Among the suggested links to the right of the quiz, there was the Tarkovsky Questionnaire – surely more enlightening than the Proust Questionnaire. Apparently, during a dull night of theatre, Andrei Arsenyevich decided to jot down a few questions. If you want to let Tarkovsky help you to analyze yourself, please do play along yourself. Without further ado:
1. Your favourite landscape?
Grey mist, green trees, restless grey-blue water; after a bit of this sturm-und-drang, the sun breaks through, brilliant and bright, chasing away the grey to replace it with baby blue above and ultramarine below.
3. Musical work?
Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 in C minor, in case you hadn’t heard.
4. Russian prose work (novel, novella)
I will list only a novel, and it won’t surprise any of you: Despair is my favorite of Vladimir Nabokov’s Russian-language novels, although Glory and The Defense are very close second and third place finishers.
5. Foreign prose work (novel)
Would Tarkovsky have counted Nabokov’s American novels as “foreign”? I wonder. Do we know what they thought of each other? I guess I know what I’m going to investigate obsessively over the weekend. Anyway, it’s Pnin. Deal with it.
6. Novella (Russian)
Other than The Death of Ivan Ilyich – which I remember appreciating, even if it didn’t sear itself in my memory – I’m not sure I’ve read all that many Russian novellas. Oops.
7. Novella (foreign)
In my defense, however: I haven’t read that many novellas at all, whether from Russia or anywhere else. So there.
8. Favourite colour
Ocean colors – blues, greens, light purples, greys – as well as the occasional opulent gold and blood red.
Anne Sexton. Funny, frank, sexy, sad, jealous, jaded – the Ava Gardner of the poetry world, I tell you.
10. Film director (Russian)
I’m a fraud if I say Tarkovsky, huh? Well, I don’t care. Yes. Tarkovsky. I look forward to educating myself further, seeing more work from more directors, and probably arriving once more at the same conclusion.
You all know how much I love my Weimar directors: Pabst, Murnau, Lang – but the greatest was Lubitsch. No contest.
12. Do you like children?
13. What is a woman’s driving-force?
Survival, for herself and those she loves.
14. And a man’s?
15. The colour of a woman’s hair?
This is a weird question, Andrei. He said “red” in his own answer. Okay, buddy.
16. Favourite clothes
A light sundress on a warm day. Easy, simple, uncomplicated.
17. Favourite period
Well, all historical periods are #problematic, but I admit to being particularly attracted to the manic energy of Berlin in the 1920s and the U.S. (the coasts, anyway) in the 1930s. Collapsing empires produce some interesting death throes.