Memory and Being: The Uncanny in the Films of Andrei Tarkovsky

  • Daniel McFadden University of Victoria


Soviet film maker Andrei Tarkovsky is obsessed with the image of the home. Throughout his filmic oeuvre, we see Tarkovsky again and again returning to the space of the home. This paper will examine the status and importance of the home in Tarkovsky's films Solaris, Nostalghia and Mirror. Interpretation will be made through Sigmund Freud's concept of the “uncanny”. The “uncanny” is especially useful as a method for understanding the highly symbolic and obfuscated dream and memory sequences that litter Tarkovsky's films. I argue that the home and the protagonists of these films share a metaphorical relationship; the homes (as depicted) are visual analogues of the characters' psyches.