Photo Exhibit Chronicling Tarkovsky Masterpiece ‘Nostalghia’ Makes World Premiere in Ljubljana

Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia – The Journey Within, an evocative and entrancing photo exhibit that chronicles the making of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1983 classic ‘Nostalghia’, made its world premiere in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on January 30.

Nearly 100 images by English photographer Deborah Beer, never before seen, make up the exhibit which will be on display on the Jakopič Promenade in Ljubljana’s central Tivoli Park through April 30. If you’re in Ljubljana this winter or early spring, don’t miss it.

The outdoor setting and the winter/spring timing will fit nicely with the mood of an exhibit which curator Riccardo Costantini describes thusly:

A journey in still images through the soul of a poet of the cinema leading to a deeper understanding of the incredible art of Andrei Tarkovsky: the fascinating mist and fog, the road and the fire, the abandoned places and intimate rooms… one of the most evocative films in the history of cinema revealed by the sharp eye of a great photographer.

The filmmaker’s exemplary reputation is well-known. Several luminaries, Ingmar Bergman primary among them, have characterized Tarkovsky as the best director ever. Nostalghia won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for best director and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1983, with Tarkovsky also sharing a special prize that year, the Grand Prix du cinéma de creation, with French director Robert Bresson.

Tarkovsky’s definition of the film’s title?

Nostalgia is the anguish we feel for the time that has passed in vain, because we have not been able to rely on our own spiritual forces, to put them in order and do our duty.

And more specifically to the Russian experience with nostalgia:

Our ‘nostalgia’ is not your ‘nostalgia’. It is not an individual emotion but something much more complex and profound that Russians experience when they are abroad. It is a disease, an illness that drains away the strength of the soul, the capacity to work, the pleasure of living.

Less is known in the wider world about Beer, who moved to Italy at 21 to quickly establish herself as a talented cinema photographer, shooting sets and actors and directors at work. Before her untimely death at 44 in 1994, she worked on the sets of Federico Fellini, Liliana Cavani, Mike Newell, Lina Wermüller, Peter Bogdanovich and Bernardo Bertolucci among others. Her love of portraiture is well represented in the photos here.


The exhibit is part of Leto Kina, a project marking the 90th anniversary of the opening of Ljubljana’s Kinodvor theatre and the 50th Anniversary of the Slovenian Cinemateque Hall.

Twenty-nine photos from the exhibit are in the slideshow below. Note: Ignore most of the captions on the display cases. I shot these photos the day before the opening when the exhibit was being mounted so some captions from the previous exhibit are still visible.

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And an English language trailer:

The film was made in Italian; you can watch an English subtitled version here: [part 1] [part 2] [part 3]. With those wanting to take a deeper look into Tarkovsky’s works in mind, Openculture has compiled a list of his films available for viewing online.

More about Tarkovsky, Beer, the film and the Ljubljana exhibit via via the Kinodvor website is here.



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