Tarkovsky's Stalker

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Hedge90
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2021 2:25 pm

Tarkovsky's Stalker

Post by Hedge90 »

I don't know how many of you have seen the Russian film Stalker, based on - but diverging from - the Strugatskys' short story Roadside Picnic. The background story is that some kind of extraterrestrial object has hit the Earth somewhere in the Soviet Union, creating a so-called Zone where rationality breaks down and people can find various miraculous artifacts - or meet their demise in one of the many anomalies within. Stalkers are people sneaking in - and guiding other people accross - the Zone to bring out such artifacts, though the place is forbidden and its access points are guarded by the military.
That's about it for the short stody, but the film I think has a lot of spiritual content. The Stalker who is the protegonist treats the zone as a kind of sacred place, and only takes in people who he deems worthy. The first 20-30 minutes of the film take place outside the Zone, in the normal world, and you think it will be a black and white movie. Then there's a quite long trip through the guarded barricade and the no-man's land between the normal world and the Zone, and at a certain point the picture turns to colour - we've arrived in the Zone.
All of the three characters are archetypes, and are only referred to by their monikers. The Stalker has nothing in the normal world, he lives in poverty, but in the Zone he is free and seems to have a personal relationship with it. The men accompanying him are a writer and a scientist, representing their respective - limited - view of the world.
The legend is that at the very center of the Zone is a room where your innermost desire will be manifested if you manage to get there. But this is as terrifying as it is tempting - a previous stalker killed himself because after going in, it turned out that his heart's innermost desire was just to be rich. It's definitely a theme in the film whether we truly want to know ourselves.
In my interpretation, this is a highly spiritual movie, and I'd even hesitate to call it allegory - it's more symbolic than allegoric. Definitely recommended on my part.
Eugene I.
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:20 pm

Re: Tarkovsky's Stalker

Post by Eugene I. »

Yes, it's a masterpiece of the world cinematography. The other one by Tarkovsky is Solaris.
"The dispelling of the conceit ‘I am’ ~ this is truly the highest happiness."
Gotama Buddha – Udana 2.1
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