2021 Movie Draft- Round 6 Pick 9- Strange Dylan selects- foreign film- Stalker.
The Kubrick of European cinema: Andrei Tarkovsky
Without a doubt one of the best science fiction films ever. One that is filled with psychology and philosophy that will keep the mind and heart moving. Three men: A writer, a professor, and the Stalker travel to a forbidden area called “The Zone” wherein a specified location, their deepest, the most profound dream will come true.
During a first watch, this film can come off as pretentious garbage, but if one really stays with the film and doesn’t throw away its vague dialogue, it will be an enriching experience. All three characters have deep-rooted problems that become unearthed as the story develops. I will not go into either, but I will say The Writer’s monologue close to the end of the film is one of the best monologues in film history.
The shots of the zone are mysterious and haunting with long looming shots that really immersive the audience. Often these long shots can be filled with dialogue that takes the form of poetry rather than an actual conversation. At times you really get a sense of the despair these characters feel through these moments, and the sound design with dripping water to the clank of a railway car pulls the atmosphere closer. The score helps too with the vast green and decay with long octave noises throughout the scene that is almost horror-like.
This film was shot three times and due to shooting at radioactive sites, the director died of cancer almost ten years later. I think this is Tarkovsky’s best film due to the themes and the filming of it all. Despite the long run time, the film will stay within you to press play on it once more.