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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

YES! I wish I could go. : (

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

he should've went.

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

I should've gone.

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

I should've gone.

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

don't beat yourself up about it dude.

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

you're right and you're right.

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not gay!

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

well, who is, really?

thanks. make me aware of upcoming trips!

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

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

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

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

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

it's going to be another long summer.

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

haha, I can't wait.

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

I can't wait.

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

or the part with the geese flying by?

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

two years pass...
soooooooooooooo booooooooooooooorrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg

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

and i enjoyed "solaris"!

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

the zone is sweet!

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

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

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

Saw the restoration (on DCP) in Philly a few weeks back and was blown away for what it's worth.

You guys are caterpillar (Telephone thing), Sunday, 25 June 2017 02:28 (six months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Anyone know the Sokurov scifi film Days of Eclipse (1988)? It shares a pair of novelist/screenwriters with Stalker. Showing tonight at NYC MoMA.

https://criticsroundup.com/film/days-of-eclipse/

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 August 2017 19:45 (five months ago) Permalink

btw i never knew the source novel that was loosely adapted for Stalker has the title Roadside Picnic (tho it's referenced at the start of the thread).

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 August 2017 20:21 (five months ago) Permalink

Then no wonder you didn't get the point of my screenname I used for this post

Barkis Garvey (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 3 August 2017 20:49 (five months ago) Permalink

i'm only one man.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 August 2017 21:03 (five months ago) Permalink

Also, Roadside Picnic is by the same guys who wrote Hard To Be A God.

Fetchboy, Thursday, 3 August 2017 21:11 (five months ago) Permalink

I got to catch the restored version on the big screen a month ago, it was quite an experience. There was tons of detail like the specifics of the debris in the water or the rusting tanks in the field that I completely missed in many previous TV viewings. My big takeaway is that this may be the most physically textured film ever. Every single shot has a strong tactile quality.

Moodles, Thursday, 3 August 2017 21:32 (five months ago) Permalink

Roadside Picnic is great, and I think I had this thread to thank for leading me to the pdf (when it was out of print).

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 3 August 2017 22:09 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I mentioned trying for a second time upthread (five years ago); I think tonight might have been the fourth. I think I basically get it, or part of it, in broad outline--the Zone is Oz, it's Godot, it's Miracle City in The Leftovers. (Or maybe it's the Black Lodge, or Room 101.) It's a great film to talk about--my friend and I went for coffee afterwards and compared notes for 20 or 30 minutes. The actual watching of it, sorry; I just find it tedious. I get very little out of it visually (except the last shot). Not that I loved The Mirror, but it did have that incredible pre-Ringu image. I find the brown parts in Stalker exceedingly ugly. Which they're supposed to be, I guess. The guy who made a big deal about going back to get his napsack reminded me of the babysitter in Goodfellas and her lucky hat. These are the silly things I think about when I'm bored, and I feel like I'm betraying the seriousness of the film when I do. My friend's going to lend me the Geoff Dyer book Zona--don't know anything about him or the book, but I'm hoping it sheds some light.

clemenza, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 04:27 (two months ago) Permalink

were you at tonight's screening in TO? more walkouts than I was expecting for a 14$ rep screening lmao

Simon H., Tuesday, 21 November 2017 04:34 (two months ago) Permalink

I was, yeah. Didn't notice the walkouts--we were maybe halfway down in the middle. I think I only drifted for 10 or 15 minutes tonight, better than the other times (lost some towards the end of part one).

For anyone who counts it as one of your favourite films--it won the ILX road-movie poll--I wish I could experience it as you do. I have some of the same problems with The Tree of Life. Maybe it's a temperament thing, I don't know. There are long, slow films I love. My attention doesn't flag for a second during six hours of Frederick Wiseman's Near Death.

clemenza, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 04:40 (two months ago) Permalink

weirdly, I drifted off a bit during the screenings of The Sacrifice and The Mirror but stayed totally awake for Stalker. I find power-napping to Tarkovsky movies to be extremely pleasant (less so in public where snoring is a real danger)

Simon H., Tuesday, 21 November 2017 04:43 (two months ago) Permalink

my main takeaway from this screening was that I really wish the men had brought that woman along with them to the Zone

Simon H., Tuesday, 21 November 2017 04:46 (two months ago) Permalink

Agree wholeheartedly; she had more personality than the three of them put together. (Which, again, I realize is beside the point--I know, I know...)

clemenza, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 04:50 (two months ago) Permalink

Saw it on the big screen a few months ago, loved it even more. There are whole visual layers that are hard to see on TV. I get the "boring" tag, but I just find the whole thing sort of texturally exciting from one shot to the next.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 21 November 2017 05:30 (two months ago) Permalink

I recently watched it at home for the first time, after trying and giving up once before. I don't know whether I 'got it' or not. There was an interview with Geoff Dyer on the Criterion Collection that I watched afterwards, and he made the interesting point that the first segments of the Zone (in Part I) strongly reminded him of being a child, wandering aimlessly and making up games to play among the remnants of old disused rail depots in the English countryside.

For me, the most mind-blowing moment in the entire movie (*minor spoiler alert*) came after the Zone, when we go back to the bedroom in Stalker's house where the opening sequence took place; but now the camera has been turned 90 degrees to reveal a wall, previously concealed out of frame, whose floor-to-ceiling shelves are completely stuffed with books.

bernard snowy, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 13:23 (two months ago) Permalink

even though I stayed awake this time the movie seems designed to lull you into a nap, including placing the Part 2 marker only an hour in

Simon H., Tuesday, 21 November 2017 13:54 (two months ago) Permalink

x-post: Ah nice, I've missed that. Claire Denis does the same in 35 Shots of Rhum, and it's also completely mind-blowing.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:01 (two months ago) Permalink

For anyone who counts it as one of your favourite films--it won the ILX road-movie poll--I wish I could experience it as you do. I have some of the same problems with The Tree of Life. Maybe it's a temperament thing, I don't know. There are long, slow films I love. My attention doesn't flag for a second during six hours of Frederick Wiseman's Near Death.

― clemenza, Tuesday, November 21, 2017 4:40 AM (nine hours ago)

a) it didn't win, it was #2!
b) I fucking hate Tree of Life and find the comparison v insulting.
c) Sometimes people just don't gel with something! And that's okay (sorry for accidental clickbait phrasing).

emil.y, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:11 (two months ago) Permalink

my main takeaway from this screening was that I really wish the men had brought that woman along with them to the Zone

I know what you mean, but for me the contrast between the 'men in the Zone' bulk of the film and the sudden voice & agency of the female characters is startling in the best way. It had an enormous emotional impact on me when I first saw it.

emil.y, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:16 (two months ago) Permalink

the Dyer book is worth the read, but it's paced like the film.

I've watched it three times, agree with clemenza.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:18 (two months ago) Permalink

Apparently I bought the wrong Blu-Ray edition as the Curzon Home Cinema version uses an un-restored print, and it shows. You can see the film jump at every reel change, the soundtrack is often buried under crackling and so much of that incredible surface detail is lost in the murk. Seriously disappointing.

If I'd known how bad it was I wouldn't have bothered.

Pheeel, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 16:30 (two months ago) Permalink

(xpost) Obviously, no insult intended--I guess I think of them both as somewhat mystical (which probably just tells you that I'm not getting one or both of them).

Forgot--Badlands won the road-movie poll.

clemenza, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 16:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Another guy at his wit's end.

http://yarn.co/yarn-clip/b4d2f220-0c8f-48ce-97d7-8f2f37246f72#BJTxAHj8QWG.copy

clemenza, Monday, 4 December 2017 23:35 (one month ago) Permalink

stalker is a headphones movie

Karl Malone, Monday, 4 December 2017 23:49 (one month ago) Permalink

That's what I used to say about the Alan Parsons Project's Tales of Mystery and Imagination back in high school. Except for the movie part.

clemenza, Monday, 4 December 2017 23:58 (one month ago) Permalink

what other movies do people like to sleep through

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 00:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Leviathan (2012)

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 00:09 (one month ago) Permalink

yes! i love falling asleep to Leviathan. also Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Third Man

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Tuesday, 5 December 2017 00:12 (one month ago) Permalink

... I have, on more than one occasion, put on a DVD of Tarkovsky's Solaris as a soporific

bernard snowy, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 00:26 (one month ago) Permalink


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