Andrey Tarkovsky was the most important Russian filmmaker of the post-war era, and one of the world’s most renowned cinematic geniuses. He directed the first five of his seven films – Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Mirror and Stalker – in the Soviet Union, but in 1982 defected to Italy, where he made Nostalgia. His final film, The Sacrifice, was produced in Sweden in 1985. Tarkovsky’s films are characterized by metaphysical themes, extended takes, an absence of conventional dramatical structure and plot, and a dream-like, visionary style of cinematography. They achieve a spiritual intensity and transcendent beauty that many consider to be without parallel.