The masters of Russian arts and letters are a prestigious fraternity that includes such renowned artists as Tolstoy, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich. But alongside these luminaries stands a lesser-known but equally revered figure, filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. Robert Bird offers in Andrei Tarkovsky an unprecedented investigation of Tarkovskys oeuvre and its far-reaching influence on world cinema.Bird brings a novel approach to his dissection of Tarkovskys wholly original techniques and sensibilities, arranging the films into elemental categories of Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. Solaris, Ivans Childhood, Mirror, Nostalgia, Andrei Rublev, and Sacrifice all get their due here through them, Bird explores how the filmmaker probed the elusive correlation between cinematic representation and a more primeval perception of the world. Though the book also considers Tarkovskys work in radio, theatre, and operaas well as his work as an actor, screenwriter, and film theoristBird throughout keeps his focus firmly on Tarkovsky as a consummate filmmaker.Anchored by a wealth of film stills and photographs, Andrei Tarkovsky is a must-read for all film buffs and admirers of European cinema.