Archive for July 29th, 2009

stalker 1

by Allan Fish

(USSR 1979 161m) DVD1/2

Welcome to The Zone

d  Andrei Tarkovsky  w  Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky  novel  “Roadside Picnic” by Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky   ph  Aleksandr Kynazhinsky  ed  Ludmila Feganova  m  Eduard Artemyev  art  Andrei Tarkovsky, R.Safiullin

Aleksandr Kaidanovsky (stalker), Anatoli Solonitsin (writer), Nikolai Grinko (professor), Alissa Freindlikh (stalker’s wife), Natasha Abramova (stalker’s daughter),

My first encounter with Tarkovsky’s existential sci-fi epic came when I was but nineteen.  Having been fascinated by his Solaris I was eager to view this later work, but in the end, as one might expect, I was unprepared for it emotionally.  To my immature teenage eyes there seemed something faintly laughable about it, its protagonists going on a journey in which, for long stretches, the danger is taken for granted and not actually demonstrated.  It was almost like that ridiculous Monty Python sketch about climbing the North Face of the Uxbridge Road.  I just wanted to cry out “get on with it!

            In the midst of an industrial wasteland called The Zone, turned to desolation following an apocalyptic event (possibly a meteorite landing), there exists a mysterious hidden room with the power to grant one’s deepest desires, but only for those with the physical and mental fortitude to make it there.  Only specialist stalkers are up to the journey, and one of them agrees to take a scientist and a writer to the room.  (more…)

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