One Day in the Life... is a study of Andrei Tarkovsky, the great Russian romantic/metaphysical filmmaker, by the very different but admiring Chris Marker, an ironic, critical artist with a lively sense of humor who, of course, also has his romantic and lyrical side. The film begins with moving footage in Paris of Tarkovsky’s reunion with his son, who had been held back in the USSR for a time after the director’s exile. Marker presents clips from the films, offering shrewd commentary on Tarkovsky’s use of fire, earth, and water; on the carnality of his mysticism; on his links to Kurosawa, and much else. We also see him at work filming The Sacrifice and speaking his considered last thoughts from his deathbed.
Through excerpts from his films and testimonies from friends, actors, and collaborators (including Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jacques Sternberg, and Jorge Semprun), this documentary attempts to draw a portrait of the notoriously shy filmmaker Alain Resnais.