Thing no.17: 2secs of Tarkovsky film


David Healey is a fanatic. The air is thick with his enthusiasm and intellect – his love of film has spread to me like a rash. I followed him through Philip Marlow, Woody Allen, Close Encounters and Breathless but it is the strangeness of Tarkovsky that has intoxicated me. Silver birch forests, horses in the night and space stations like wombs – I am mesmerised by dreams, fall in love with cheekbones and mouth the sound of Russian vowels.

David Healey’s collection has been captured in the night – years of waiting to press record when the sleepy announcer pauses.

David offers to lend me his VHS of ‘Mirror’ and I take it to London. I watch it on my own and when the film closes I rewind it to the moment when, unexplained, rain begins to fall from the ceiling. I press the button but instead of Tarkovsky, an image of a soap opera diva fills the screen. For a second I am static but then dive for the ‘pause’. Entropy is shocking, I am stunned at what I cannot undo – the magnetic tape now slices from a Russian interior to the Rover’s Return.

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