Stalker

Stalker ★★★★★

Oh boy.

A limitless goldmine. I just want to rave about the duality of the movie and how Tarkovsky operates within (and blends) the two planes of the "real" and "non-real" - aesthetically in how vivid and earthy it is as a contemporary wasteland while also being so wholly unimaginable as a journey into what legitimately feels like a whole new dimension where the laws of reality dissolve. The world of the film is so bizarre - there are elements of recognisable things (factory landscapes, railroads), but in a way I've never seen before - or maybe to put it better, in a way that they don't really appear. You're looking at things that just don't seem to make sense. It's like a dream, albeit one that cinema grants us the power of being conscious of. 

So deeply scary too in a way that's creepingly contemporary and prescient of the era - the cesspools and polluted floods and asbestos walls are all clearly real Soviet places, just reimagined by Tarkovsky's fantasy camera. It indirectly accounts for and pre-empts many things to come. And Tarkovsky and three others all died from lung cancer in the space of ten years after filming? Coincidence I think not...

Structurally the film reflects the image; it's completely non-linear and out of order (while paradoxically being totally linear, literally a film just about a journey into a room), the camera tricks and deceives with skewed perspectives - the whole idea of The Zone shifting time and reshaping is handled with such impeccable subtlty (even naturalism). The Zone is cinema. Ok, among other things

It's a lot like Solaris actually - massive parallels between the idea of the planet Solaris and The Room as embodied god, and the symbiotic nature of man and god, and the tragedy of how profoundly interlinked yet unknowable we are to each other . Lots and lots to muse on, but what a piece of art.

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