Brian Formo’s review published on Letterboxd:
Despite the shifting visual style, Stalker still was a boggy slog to complete but there's so many intelligent fragments to wade through after it's closed. Slow zooms, a slow journey, it takes forever to settle into the Zone. As someone who struggles to meditate, Stalker recreated that for me. Eventually, and finally, I can sink. I can sink. I can...
Desire inherently is individual and could never be twisted into collectivism. The fear of crossing to the other side (individualism vs. collectivism, art vs. science, art AND science vs. suicide for not finding/actually finding the truth; all of these vs. economic systems) makes every movement so incredibly slow and tinged with doubt. The nationalist fear of an area that grants individual desire instead of protecting the wasteland that's seen. Magnets operating on an opposite plane to pull an object on the other side, doing all the work.
Stalker (I think): art and science, both are driven by vanity. Vanity is inherently at odds with the common good. Grief follows in understanding what we love or study has both to power to add and subtract from a better humanity. It's a zero sum game.
This is only my second Tarkovsky and like the first it really pushed the limits of my attention but then immediately as it ended I felt a rush of thoughts hit my brain. It's rather unique. It's too slow to call a mindfuck (imo), more appropriately, Tarkovsky seems to be a mind caress. Although, I prefer that thinking experience to be from exiting the theater, walking to my car, driving home, parking, and sitting for an extended period than to pulling myself off the couch and walking to the coffee maker. I hope theaters continue rep cinema when the rush of blockbusters come to eat up the screens.
I really miss that drive home think. I remember watching Nostalgia with Eric Eidelstein and us both sighing and shifting and then texting each other after that separate drive saying, “I think I loved it.”