There’s nothing new in directors borrowing shots from or paying homage to the filmmakers that came before them. Often this shows as subtle nods of respect, sometimes as obvious inspirations and sometimes you have to wonder if borrowing turns to stealing.
In the case of Iñárritu‘s beautifully shot The Revenant and it’s obvious kinship with the work of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, I’ll choose to believe that the similarities in composition, camera movement and themes are signs of the director’s cinematic literacy, more-so than an attempt at ripping off an idol’s masterful work. Still, the side-by-side comparison by (Russian) YouTuber Misha Petrick really makes you remember that The Revenant is not all that revolutionary or alone in it’s artistry. Rather, it’s part of a rich, cinematic history that we can all benefit from knowing more about.
What do you think?
The Tarkovsky footage is from his films Stalker, Ivan’s Childhood, Mirror, Nostalghia and Andrei Rublev.