Stalker

Stalker

DVD - 2017 | Russian
Average Rating:
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Inside a mysterious realm called the zone there is The Room, a place that will grant you your innermost desire. Stalker, a man that knows how to pass the deadly secrets and hazards of The Zone, escorts a group of people to the Room.
Publisher: [United States] : The Criterion Collection, [2017]
Edition: Fullscreen version, Two-DVD special edition
ISBN: 9781681433301
1681433303
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,region 1
DVD-video,NTSC
fullscreen (1.37:1)
digital,optical,monaural,Dolby digital
DVD video,4 3/4 in
2 videodiscs (161 min.) sound, color ; 4 3/4 in

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e
eljefe67
Apr 30, 2018

While ostensibly an SF film, this is about as far from a big budget Hollywood SF blockbuster as it is possible to get. Like Tarkovsky's other great SF film, this is a glacially paced examination of big ideas. Loosely based upon the novel "Roadside Picnic" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Stalker follows the titular character as he illegally guides two men into the Zone, an area transformed by some event such that the normal laws of physics and causality no longer apply.

Instead of flashy special effects and the typical "save the world/galaxy/universe from some bad guys" plot, we get three men wandering slowly through a post-industrial landscape of ruined buildings being reclaimed by nature, where a wrong turn can result in a fate worse than death. The three have deep philosophical discussions despite the fact that there isn't a great deal of dialogue. Their goal (each man has his own motivation) is to reach a room where one's greatest wish becomes reality.

What is truly amazing about this film is how it conveys the transcendent beauty and simmering menace of the Zone with almost no special effects, simply through mood, music, cinematography and the very spare dialogue. I've watched this film many times and each time I find some detail or image or symbolism that I hadn't noticed before. A masterpiece of world cinema.

r
ryanever
Apr 08, 2018

I came to this movie from comparisons to the recent Annihilation, and I was amazed at how similar the basic plot was. It took some of the shine off Annihilation, but this movie is mostly impressive and distinctive for how much non-action happens and how slow it is. If you want sci-fi you must bring an adept imagination because nothing will be shown on screen. By far this is the most I have seen in a movie of two never before contemplated categories: the backs of guy's heads and guys just resting, taking a nap if you will, in shallow fetid puddles of water. That seems incredibly uncomfortable to me, but whatever works.
If you can make it through the first ten minutes, you may as well stay for the rest. It helps bring your heart rate down to the super low rate needed to exist in this world. So little happens that at times water dripping or a dog trotting into sight to lay down will seem revelatory. The characters go in completely illogical meandering paths and do so in terror for things which never happen. It makes it possible in the viewers mind that there really is no palpable terror in the Zone, but perhaps the Stalker is completely unreliable and schizophrenic.
Despite it all, however, the movie draws you in with its mystery and reflection. The characters are archetypes to represent Science and Art. This offers a compelling debate about aspects of human nature and its various responses to life and death and the unknown.

t
TheeAvebury
Jan 15, 2018

Challenging, provocative, and ultimately rewarding, Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is a mind-bending experience that defies explanation. Like Tarkovsky's earlier and similarly enigmatic science fiction classic Solaris, this long, slow, meditative masterpiece demands patience and total attention; anyone accustomed to faster pacing is likely to abandon the nearly three-hour film before its first hour is over. On the other hand, those who approach Tarkovsky's work in a properly receptive (and wide awake) frame of mind are likely to appreciate the film's seductive depth of theme and hypnotic imagery. Set in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic future (although the time-frame is never specified), the eerie and unsettling story focuses on the title character, Stalker (Aleksandr Kajdanovsky), who leads characters known only as the Writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn) and the Scientist (or Professor, played by Nikolai Grinko) into a mysterious region called The Zone. Tarkovsky films their journey as a long odyssey, or religious pilgrimage, and center of The Zone--said to be under an alien influence--is where each of these men hopes to find a kind of personal transcendence.

c
Calvacade
Jan 15, 2018

A true masterpiece of metaphysical filmmaking. Tarkovsky's movies are slow- a better word to use is meditative- Tarkovsky called it " sculpting in time ". If you pay careful attention by the end of the film your efforts will be rewarded with the 'big picture'.
An attention span is an awful thing to waste. You do not have to read the book to " get " this film ( if you're capable of thinking that is ), I would go so far as to classify this as an autonomous piece of art from the book. I try and watch this every couple of years- and see new things in it every time.

l
LisaRhea
Jan 09, 2018

Not sure what all the fuss is about. I picked up this movie after reading the reviews and decided to give it a try. I don't think I've ever been so bored in a movie before. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen but nothing ever did. I appreciate that the movie is examining some deep themes, but it was just too philosophical and slow-paced to keep me interested.

m
mrkus
Oct 02, 2017

This film was thought provoking, imaginative and in ways confounding. I loved it.

v
VonHafenstaaad
Jul 05, 2017

This is more than just a movie. It's a true work of art. I consider it an event in my life.

LPL_KevinC Jun 12, 2017

I picked up Stalker recently because I'd only ever seen pieces of it here and there and I had an evening free that I could devote to one of Andrei Tarkovsky's great works. It's a patient and thoughtfully composed story of three men journeying into a mysterious restricted site called the "Zone," where they hope to reach a room that supposedly fulfills an entrant's innermost desire. Along the way, the motivations of each of the members of the expedition for reaching the room are slowly revealed while they navigate the treacherous and ever-shifting topography of the Zone.

The visual contrast of the squalid urban settings of the city outside the Zone and rich natural atmosphere inside the Zone combine with the film's serene score to perfectly compliment the philosophical storytelling.

It certainly isn't for everyone, but if you like a slow burner that makes you think then draw the curtains, turn off the lights, leave your cell phone in the other room and get sucked into the beauty of Stalker.

m
Maoisdead
Apr 20, 2017

One of Andrei Tarkovsky's (Solaris, The Sacrifice) most acclaimed films, Stalker is an unforgettable film experience that evokes the spiritual lucidity of Carl Dreyer and the unbridled imagination of Philip K. Dick. Since its release in 1979, Stalker has inspired filmmakers as diverse as David Lynch and Steven Spielberg and ensnared audiences in a labyrinth of striking imagery revealing the familiar in the strange, the poetic in the disturbing and the mythic in the mordant. In the near future, an unseen alien force has taken possession of an area of Russian wilderness that authorities, have dubbed The Zone. The only thing known for sure about the region is that few who enter it ever return. Led by a Stalker one of a small group of outlaws able to safely navigate the Zone, a renegade scientist and a cynical, burnt out writer penetrate the dangers outside in search of the power and transcendence rumored to exist inside. The Stalker longs to un-do a mysterious physical transformation the Zone has performed on his young daughter. The scientist will risk anything to see that reason triumphs over faith. The writer seeks a germ of inspiration that the crumbling and corrupt world beyond the Zone no longer provides. Together, these three men become desperate pilgrims walking a desolate trail leading to one of the most enigmatic and tantalizing endings in the history of cinema. A haunting and honest meditation on the intersections of science, feeling, and faith.Stalker is both profoundly unsettling and deeply moving.

2
22950006357453
May 04, 2015

if you havent read the book 'roadside picknic' you will not get this movie

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