« LA POINTE COURTE — CLASSIC FILM PICK | Main | BABY DRIVER »

June 27, 2017

STALKER

STALKER POSTERJean Paul Sartre’s ‘No Exit’ meets ‘Waiting For Godot” in Chernobyl in this influential filmic think piece from visionary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. This film makes Dostoevsky seem like an optimistic romantic. Filmmakers such as David Lynch, Pedro Costa, and Bela Tarr drew obvious inspiration from Tarkovsky’s minimalist appreciation for tempo, earthly decay, and visual textures. Although this film’s theatrically bound narrative structure of philosophical discourse bogs down as much as it reveals, ‘Stalker’ is a daring film that takes its audience on a necessarily Eastern European sci-fi inflected trip of the mind.

Stalker

Alexander Kaidanovsky plays the ‘Stalker’ of the film’s title, which screenwriters Boris and Arkady Strugatsky transposed from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Stalky & Co.’ stories for the protagonist of their initial novel.  Looking like a Russian Woody Harrelson, Kaidanovsky’s Stalker works as a guide into the Zone, a dangerous region bereft of wildlife save a few fish a dog that contains a Room that enables its visitors to realize their innermost desires. Stalker admits that he has never in his life ‘seen one happy person.’ It doesn’t bode well for his two clients, a science professor and a writer, both of whom are two of the least fulfilled people you could imagine.     

Stalker.colesmithey.com

The wet and toxic landscape that Tarkovsky presents is unnerving. No comfort is anywhere to be found. Everything is muddy and wet. There isn't even a tree stump you'd want to sit on. Tarkovsky savors awkward beauty in the ostensibly post-war debris that rots in shallow bodies of water that exists as constant reminders of life that once resided there. The filmmakers utilized two disused hydro power plants for key sequences in areas poisoned by toxic factories. The association with Chernobyl is no joke.  

While the script seems more adaptable to a stage play, the film's visual impact is at once horrible and lovely. Truly this is a movie for its audience to stalk. You might not find any answers, but you will learn some things about yourself while searching.

Stalker2

Not Rated. 183 mins. (B) (Three stars — out of five / no halves)


COLE SMITHEYA small request: Help keep Cole Smithey writing reviews, creating video essays, and making podcasts. Click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon, and receive special rewards!

PATREON BUTTON

Click Here to Pledge Your Support Through Patreon

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series