One of the most immersive and rarefied experiences in the history of cinema, Andrei Tarkovskys Stalker embarks on a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalyptic landscape. A hired guidethe Stalker of the titleleads a writer and a scientist into the heart of the Zone, the restricted site of a long-ago disaster, where the three men eventually zero in on the Room, a place rumored to fulfill ones most deeply held desires. Adapting a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and making what would be his final Soviet feature, Tarkovsky created a challenging and visually stunning work, his painstaking attention to material detail and sense of organic atmosphere further enriched by this vivid new digital restoration. At once a religious allegory, a reflection of contemporary political anxieties, and a meditation on film itselfamong many other interpretationsStalker envelops the viewer by opening up a multitude of possible meanings.
"Tarkovsky realizes the allegorical tale with an overwhelming density of visual detail; the riot and clash of textures form a frenzied vocabulary and lend the film the torrential inner force of Dostoyevskian rhetoric. One vast subterranean dialogue sequence, in which the three travellers wrangle over metaphysical fantasies and long-stifled grudges, could be borrowed directly from a grand existential novel." RICHARD BRODY, NEW YORKER
"The terror and pleasure of Stalker comes from the calm, penetrating stare it dares us to take, and meaning(s) it demands we construct for ourselves out of what we see." SENSES OF CINEMA
"Throughout the Zone, the stalker insists there is no going backall motion is forward. The Room then suggests some Hegelian fulfillment of history. Stalker, it seems, mourns the impossibility of religious (political, technocratic) faith even as it acknowledges the damage this faith inflicts. Its a vision of despair illuminated by only the faintest ray of hope." VILLAGE VOICE
"Ten years ago, Andrei Tarkovsky wrote: Whether they are good or bad, in the final analysis my films are about one thing: the extreme manifestation of faith in a moral debt, the fight for it I am interested in a hero, going on to the end, regardless of everything, for only such a man can triumph. Stalker is the most complete realisation of Tarkovskys credo. And perhaps for this reason is, aesthetically, so simple and severe." SIGHT & SOUND
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