塔可夫斯基在导言里提到即使是专业批评家的称赞也很难使他满意时，引用了这样一段来自IPAS的影评：By no means all who wanted to meet the director were able to do so; nor, unfortunately, was the author of this notice. None of us can understand how Tarkovsky, by means of cinema, has succeeded in producing a work of such philosophical depths. Accustomed to films as story-line, action, characters and the usual "happy ending", the audience looks for these things in Tarkovsky's films, and often enough leaves disappointed.What is this film about? It is about a Man. No, not about the particular man whose voice we hear from behind the screen, played by Innokentiy Smoktunovsky. It's a film about you, your father, your grandfather, about someone who will live after you and who is still "you". About a Man who lives on the earth, is part of the earth and the earth is part of him, about the fact that a man is answerable for his life both to the past and to the future. You have to watch this film simply, and listen to the music of Bach and the poems of Arseniy Tarkovsky; watch it as one watches the stars, or the see as one admires a landscape. There is no mathematical logic here, for it cannot explain what man is or what is the meaning of his life.
塔可夫斯基抱怨说他们喜欢用空泛的陈词滥调而不是直接面对作品本身……和奥威尔在politics of language里面的观点有点类似。自己在看乐评的时候也有类似的感受：大量使用边界含糊不清的well-worn phrases……套用在很多作品上都说得通。