tarkovsky's stalker

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there isn't a tarkovsky thread so you should all continue to chat about him, here, and encourage me to seek out his movies.

RJG (RJG), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 17:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

YES! I wish I could go. : (

cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 17:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oh too late. obv. I hated 'the sacrifice' but now love it. I'm sure 'solaris' ws on at the gft recently and the cinema is the only place to see that one really. momus always says something about 'textural more than textual' so I'll not. we cd talk about 'mirror'?

cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 17:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you could've come, too.

they're showing 'alphaville' again, in a week or two, have you seen that?

RJG (RJG), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 17:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I couldn't really. I'm super-busy this week apparently.

they're showing that at the gft? I'm going to all the godard things at the gft, which inc. 'alphaville', yeah. I have it around here on video somewhere.

cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 17:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oh, that's at the GFT, too. I meant at the architecture building but I think the GFT is nicer, to watch films in.

RJG (RJG), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 17:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I always view Tarkovsky as slightly medicinal... i.e., I'm taking my culture medicine. It's a bit like going to a gallery, as opposed to the entertainment world of films. The whole Soviet film 'industry' had completely different aims than Hollywood.

andy, Tuesday, 2 March 2004 19:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i dont view tarkovsky that way at all

sokurov raises more questions about pretentiousness and lack of content (though i usually like him too)

when i've seen solaris it's been like a kick in the gut, i cry and cry--stalker i have a greater distance from, perhaps that's in the design; the best part is when he gets the phone call in The Zone

is it a published number i wonder?

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 21:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

tarkovsky is in NO WAY representative of the "soviet film industry"

he had a hard time getting films made, and often they were only made because he was a "prestige" asset

but eventually it was difficult enough that he left, and he died in france

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 22:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Large chunks of Stalker were filmed in Tallinn, in a peculiar 'industrial-ish quarter' that's almost in the centre of the town (and not too far from the port). It's an area surrounded by heavy stone walls, I've never seen what it looks like inside.

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 23:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think the best part of "Stalker" is the whole sequence from where the protagonists enter the zone in their land-rover, up to where they get into the zone, and you see the abandoned tanks, bodies in armoured cars etc. The part where they are on the little rail trolly, and you can see the landscape behind them changing is just phenomenally good, esp w/the newer artemiev soundtrack.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 23:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

he should've went.

cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 23:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>esp w/the newer artemiev soundtrack.

newer?

the one I know has the loop of the rail trolly looping while the filtered electronics slowly grow louder

is there another version?

(Jon L), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 23:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I am a huge fan of Tarkovsky.. Andrei Rublev and Nostalghia above all. Mirror is mostly excellent..

if you haven't had enough sleep, don't go see Stalker. I don't really love it.. I've seen it twice but still feel like I'm missing something.

daria g (daria g), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 01:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I should've gone.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 09:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

that's the message of the movie, yes. took me longer to figure it out. so how was it?

wfsdfsdf, Wednesday, 3 March 2004 09:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I should've gone.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 10:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

don't beat yourself up about it dude.

chris (chris), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 10:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you're right and you're right.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 10:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you should try to see them in a cinema rather than on a TV too RJG - it helps to be away from other distractions/choices and -> reduce the psychometabolic rate down to the pace of the films
(they do indeed have alot of very long takes and long tracking shots)

in spite of his concerns with the metaphysical/religious/spiritual (maybe implied, or maybe i just misinterpret) not being ones i resonate with, i nonetheless find his films very appealing. i get the same kind of awe as when looking at a magnificent cathedral or stained-glass window - they don't make me believe in god or the afterlife, but they are magnificent.

i got more 'psychological' than spiritual stuff from them - memory, desire, regret - though from certain angles those kinds of feelings sometimes verge on something more 'profound'

he made me appreciate the visual details of things more, and his fascination with rain/trickling/dripping water has something almost sensually/biologically resonant about it (iirc there is a few-seconds shot in 'nostalgia' of rainwater droplets hitting bottles/jars in sunlight - delicate and transitory beauty, all colourbursting microrainbows & gentle chiming , created in the midst of a grotty hovel from 'miserable' weather and a leaky roof...)

solaris is my favourite - it is the only one i have seen more than once - nostalgia second fav - stalker/andrei rublev/the sacrifice all pretty equal to me
i have never got to a cinema to see 'mirror' grrrr

(and ha yes don't go to a hot cinema when short of sleep to see one - this was my downfall at the ica cinema's showing of andrei rublev - iirc (it was 20 yrs ago so i may not) it was at least 3hrs 30min long and i slept through approx 30 mins in the middle...)

Snowy Mann (rdmanston), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 12:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I live half a block from the glasgow film theatre and one and a half blocks from the centre for contemporary arts.

I never seem to go to the cinema. : (((

I wish cozen would make me.


I will keep an eye open for showings. thanks, ray.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 12:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

do you like long takes? really long ones? ... really, really long ones?

I don't know what's happening to me, because my tolerance for long-held shots used to be so low that I needed films like Requiem for a Dream and Run Lola Run. Now, I'm to the point where Stalker's shots didn't really strike me as all that long, all told. Perhaps because so many of them are moving, panning, or tracking shots.

But, yeah, gorgeous film. As of yet one of only two Tarkovskys I've seen (Solaris), but I can't wait to catch Nostalghia and Mirror.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i think it's pretty easy all told to train your eye to new aesthetic experiences, whether that means long held shots or anything else

although i suppose i prefer long shots that have a painterly aspect, that observes one or another principal of interesting composition--which really is most of the long take films that are most respected; i've seen a film by philippe garrel which seemed purposely drab and affectless and even artless in its long takes, and it tested my patience (i take that phrase seriously, i think it's good sometimes to test your patience)

i've never seen "nostalghia" or "the sacrifice"

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

this 'stalker' was being presented as an architectural film.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

RJG, you're totally welcome to come to the cinema whenever I go.

cozen (Cozen), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm not gay!

cozen (Cozen), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

well, who is, really?

thanks. make me aware of upcoming trips!

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

when cozen is not at the cinema you will be barred from entry of course

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Just piping in... Stalker presented as architectural film is quite spot on, as it is "about" moving in the space of the Zone, searching for the hidden room, moving along oblique routes.

Janne (Janne), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ok. you know I go to the cinema too much tho, right?

cozen (Cozen), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I know. I won't feel the pressure to match you, film-for-film.

they are presenting 'alphaville' as an architectural film, here, too. they say it is a reorganisation of the city [paris] and its component parts. they also said something about strewn and 'like a situationist map'!!!! I've seen it.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"alpha-VILLE, alpha-VILLE, it's only a deri-VÉ!"

cozen (Cozen), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

it's going to be another long summer.

cozen (Cozen), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

haha, I can't wait.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 13:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Whatever you do, don't try and smoke pot while watching Stalker, you'll go into a trance and loose track. See it in a theater.

J2Dancer, Wednesday, 3 March 2004 23:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I can't wait.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 23:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Nothing to do with Stalker but I just watched Andrei Rublev tonight. That's quite some film.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 06:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

...and then some?

Huh, I now recall the peculiar circumstances (the very early 80s, Moscow of all places) of watching Rublev myself...

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 10:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah that chapter about the bell is madness. i like the end bit most i think.


stalker, funnily enough, was the film i had least patience. like, ive seen most of his films but that was the first time i got a bit fidgety. but i really wanted to fall asleep.

ambrose (ambrose), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 11:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

what about the shot where he follows the horses' hooves and then pans down to the battle below? yow

!!!! (amateurist), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 11:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i think the part in the bell chapter where they are waiting to see if it will ring is one of the most suspenseful moments in all of film.

ryan (ryan), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 20:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was about to say, that was incredibly well-handled, and even better, I had no idea whether it would in fact ring or not -- it could have easily gone either way.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 21:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

or the part with the geese flying by?

!!!! (amateurist), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 22:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
soooooooooooooo booooooooooooooorrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg

renegade bear shot by cops on frat row (vahid), Monday, 29 May 2006 19:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

and i enjoyed "solaris"!

renegade bear shot by cops on frat row (vahid), Monday, 29 May 2006 19:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

this is like "mindwalk" with a pedigree.

renegade bear shot by cops on frat row (vahid), Monday, 29 May 2006 19:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

the zone is sweet!

jhoshea (scoopsnoodle), Monday, 29 May 2006 20:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

i really like this film! i somehow watched it in one sitting.

gear (gear), Monday, 29 May 2006 21:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

yes the zone is sweet. i would have just as happily have watched a documentary on decaying abandoned soviet factories. still, i didn't need like TWENTY MINUTES of rusting guns underwater when FIVE would have done just as well.

it just seems like lots of things in this movie were absurdly stretched out for minimal payoffs. how many times do i have to watch stalker take a nap??

exceptions: the trolley ride into the zone was great, the part where they are taking a nap in the creek is great, too, where we see all the different bits of detritus in the stream.

renegade bear shot by cops on frat row (vahid), Monday, 29 May 2006 21:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

actually, this was sort of like solaris - 1st half totally watchable, 2nd half same shit as the 1st half happens over and over again w/ minimal development until the last 10 minutes when some big sci-fi revelation happens.

renegade bear shot by cops on frat row (vahid), Monday, 29 May 2006 21:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

like

twunty fifteen (imago), Thursday, 29 October 2015 23:54 (one year ago) Permalink

"Yes?"

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Friday, 30 October 2015 00:07 (one year ago) Permalink

this is surely amongst the great works

twunty fifteen (imago), Friday, 30 October 2015 00:09 (one year ago) Permalink

it is one of the greatest

xelab, Friday, 30 October 2015 00:13 (one year ago) Permalink

The toxic looking set of Stalker is no special effect:
"We were shooting near Tallinn in the area around the small river Jägala with a half-functioning hydroelectric station. Up the river was a chemical plant and it poured out poisonous liquids downstream. There is even this shot in Stalker: snow falling in the summer and white foam floating down the river. In fact it was some horrible poison. Many women in our crew got allergic reactions on their faces. Tarkovsky died from cancer of the right bronchial tube. And Tolya Solonitsyn too. That it was all connected to the location shooting for Stalker became clear to me when Larisa Tarkovskaya died from the same illness in Paris"

xelab, Friday, 30 October 2015 00:29 (one year ago) Permalink

That's a horrific story

too young for seapunk (Moodles), Friday, 30 October 2015 00:31 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah but look what they made

twunty fifteen (imago), Friday, 30 October 2015 00:46 (one year ago) Permalink

Not worth it, even for such a huge masterpiece, ymmv

too young for seapunk (Moodles), Friday, 30 October 2015 00:51 (one year ago) Permalink

When you work in the trades you develop a gallows humour about faked asbestos reports and risk assessments and exposure to carcinogens. I'd imagine if you were working for the Soviet film industry in the 70's it would be even more lackadaisical.

xelab, Friday, 30 October 2015 01:45 (one year ago) Permalink

i thought this was so boring, should i rewatch it?

Ina-Garten-Da-Vida (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 30 October 2015 02:34 (one year ago) Permalink

depends on if you thought it was boring in the past five years or not and if you can see it in a theater imo

a llove spat over a llama-keeper (forksclovetofu), Friday, 30 October 2015 04:47 (one year ago) Permalink

That's a horrific story

― too young for seapunk (Moodles), Friday, 30 October 2015 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah but look what they made

― twunty fifteen (imago), Friday, 30 October 2015 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

You are Geoff Dyer and I claim my 50p.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 30 October 2015 08:58 (one year ago) Permalink

It could be worse, they could've died from making The Conqueror:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/the-conqueror/making-of-movie-that-killed-john-wayne/

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Friday, 30 October 2015 09:11 (one year ago) Permalink

My conclusion from reading that = Money is great.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 30 October 2015 13:47 (one year ago) Permalink

I was about to bring up The Conqueror.

so many phrases seem to have gone untranslated

Pretty common in foreign films that didn't have an upper-tier UK-US distributor in that era.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Friday, 30 October 2015 14:06 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

wowwwww

aaaaaaaauuuuuuuuu (melting robot) (WilliamC), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 03:01 (two months ago) Permalink

innit just

calzino, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 05:29 (two months ago) Permalink

watched this again on blu-ray a couple of weeks ago - never fails to be absolutely captivating

the stalker's dream is one of the most spellbinding sequences in cinema imo

Rush Limbaugh and Lou Reed doing sex with your parents (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 09:48 (two months ago) Permalink

oh i started watching this the other day but my O/h was really tired and not in the mood for b/w with subtitles and gloominess. I really want to watch it though.

Lennon, Elvis, Hendrix etc (dog latin), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:07 (two months ago) Permalink

love this so much.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:10 (two months ago) Permalink

dl, it's only in black and white for a while before it transitions to colour (in another indelible sequence)

the b&w photography is so, so beautiful though. it's got so much texture to it

Rush Limbaugh and Lou Reed doing sex with your parents (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:14 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, it reminded me of Werckmeister Harmonies quite a lot (I can imagine Bela Tar was highly influenced by this film). As I say, we barely got 20 mins through before we realised this was a film for another time.

Lennon, Elvis, Hendrix etc (dog latin), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:19 (two months ago) Permalink

A few visual similarities aside, I don't think Tarkovsky and Tarr have v much in common. In fact, Tarr articulated the difference quite well: “Tarkovsky is religious and we are not… he always had hope; he believed in God. He’s much more innocent than us – than me. No, we have seen too many things to make his kind of film… he is much softer, much nicer. Rain in his films purifies people. In mine it just makes mud.”

Darcy Sarto (Ward Fowler), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:26 (two months ago) Permalink

It is a great quote but Tarkovsky must have seen some brutality himself growing up during the great terror and then the war.

calzino, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:31 (two months ago) Permalink

I think that even the religious hope in Tarkovsky's films is tempered by some extreme self-doubt. God is hardly pedestaled as some end to suffering.

I like his famous quote about how Stalker should be “slower and duller at the start so that the viewers who walked into the wrong theatre have time to leave before the main action starts.”

dance band (tangenttangent), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 11:12 (two months ago) Permalink

I agree. That sequence from Stalker posted above is a good demonstration. Mankind is destined to die and be forgotten, and all of its works, including religion. It's like his faith was in the face of knowing there was no destiny or future for mankind beyond this sort-of ultimate apocalypse, and why his works are so emotionally extreme in their beauty. I'm not a Tarkovsky or film scholar by any means, but that's what I get from it at least.

larry appleton, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 17:05 (two months ago) Permalink

It is a great quote but Tarkovsky must have seen some brutality himself growing up during the great terror and then the war.

Yeah, nihilists/cynics etc. always think they've seen more that others - the scales have fallen from their eyes, rather than their eyes having scabbed up.

Eallach mhór an duine leisg (dowd), Tuesday, 13 December 2016 20:20 (two months ago) Permalink

That Tarr quote makes me think significantly less of him.

circa1916, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 20:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Reading his dad's poetry and its fantastic, some of the most affecting Russian poetry this side of Tsvetaeva!

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 13 December 2016 23:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Completely agree. Hearing it in Mirror for the first time blew me away.

dowd otm and with best poetic imagery.

dance band (tangenttangent), Wednesday, 14 December 2016 01:38 (two months ago) Permalink


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