tarkovsky's stalker

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um, I love Tarkovsky and shamefully have never watched all of the film. I think I'm going to attempt some multiple viewing, book reading, extravaganza

Walter Murch on a panel? I hope there's coverage or a recording of the talking.

valleys of your mind (mh), Thursday, 8 March 2012 15:41 (five years ago) Permalink

just read abt that in the wsj & it was vague enough that i thought there was also a screening/talk on fri ;_; sounds rad tho

johnny crunch, Thursday, 8 March 2012 15:44 (five years ago) Permalink

Anyone read Dyer's bk?

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:35 (five years ago) Permalink


he looks like a nudnik

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Ws reading his wiki -- he's written on a wide range of subjects, you know.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:38 (five years ago) Permalink

yes but i saw him talking abt stalker w/ m kermode on bbc hds benighted 'the culture show'

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:43 (five years ago) Permalink

& i distrust ppl called geoff

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:44 (five years ago) Permalink

the bldgblog guy is named geoff and he seems ok

valleys of your mind (mh), Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:48 (five years ago) Permalink

in your opinion

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:49 (five years ago) Permalink

ws saying it as something to distrust really - travel one min, jazz the next, now not only film but STALKER! Sounds like a mid-life crisis bk instead of a fully researced account of Tarkovsky and his (and Soviet cinema's) struggle w/the authorities.

Ah well..xxp

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 8 March 2012 23:58 (five years ago) Permalink

there was one broadsheet review which was all 'less abt tarkovsky than abt geoff dyer' as if that might be more enticing

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Friday, 9 March 2012 00:01 (five years ago) Permalink

I've read books that ended up being semi-autobiographical about pretty boring people, this couldn't be worse

valleys of your mind (mh), Friday, 9 March 2012 00:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Not the recommenation I was looking for!

xyzzzz__, Friday, 9 March 2012 09:54 (five years ago) Permalink


"...this emboldened Slate's Dana Stevens, whose contributions up to this point had been inoffensive enough to be ignorable/forgettable, to chime in about the "weak writing" in the film."

Why is Dana Stevens invited to these things? n.b. I can't recall ever reading a Dana Stevens review but her talks on the Culture Gabfest are...lacking.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Sunday, 11 March 2012 06:29 (five years ago) Permalink

"cultural vegetable."

Never heard this term before, only 10 year olds dislike all vegetables.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 11 March 2012 10:03 (five years ago) Permalink

that phrase was at the center of an NYT Magazine-launched brouhaha over "difficult/boring" films last year.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 11 March 2012 14:22 (five years ago) Permalink

There was this not exactly good article on slow cinema. Liked it ended w/Akerman although the quote doesn't sound intelligent.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 11 March 2012 21:16 (five years ago) Permalink

wow, Kenny wrote they couldn't even find a good print for the New School thing. Imagine how universal that will be 10 years from now.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 11 March 2012 21:51 (five years ago) Permalink

is it true that they all died from cancers they picked up while filming in that place?? i can't imagine how wading neck-deep in sewer water in an abandoned hydroelectric plant could have seemed like a good idea ... didn't they have an actor's union?

― renegade bear shot by cops on frat row (vahid)

tarkovsky, his wife, the DP, and the three lead actors all died within 15 yrs of this at relatively young ages iirc, at least three of them of cancer which i think was linked to the filming location (though not definitively.)

omar little, Sunday, 11 March 2012 22:09 (five years ago) Permalink

A while back I read that it was some rare type of cancer. The fact that they all had it lent itself to the idea that it was caused by shared environmental exposure.

elan, Monday, 12 March 2012 00:35 (five years ago) Permalink

From the Stalker wikipedia page:

Sound designer Vladimir Sharun recalls:
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.[5]

elan, Monday, 12 March 2012 00:36 (five years ago) Permalink

oh, there was another Dyer/screening today :p


Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 March 2012 00:41 (five years ago) Permalink

Have always heard about The Conquerer being a movie that was actually fatal for the people involved; had no idea the same happened with Stalker.

tanuki, Monday, 12 March 2012 01:24 (five years ago) Permalink


^blood boils, etc.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 17 March 2012 08:57 (five years ago) Permalink

Not really...just 'next', you know.

I am at fkn war w/proper spelling and punctuation tho'.

All nothing compared to the awfulness of people dying from the conditions surrounding the Stalker shoot. Was dimly aware of it when a camera man was talking about T and people who had passed on. A 5 min interview on a DVD that was a kinda gem. Wish I had that round here so I could remind myself of exactly what he said.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 17 March 2012 09:02 (five years ago) Permalink

I read Zona today - I enjoyed it. It's pretty short (you can probably read it in less time than it takes to watch the film) but that's probably for the best. It was a lot lighter than I expected it to be - more of a cultural sorbet than a cultural vegetable.

windborne grey frogs (dowd), Saturday, 17 March 2012 22:18 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh, I forgot why I posted. A quote from Zona

"As such it would have rendered that line of Stalker's - 'Home at last' - rather odd. [footnote-] Or maybe not. In the years when I used to go to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert, we were greeted at the festival entrance with the words 'Welcome Home!' and tears always welled up in my eyes because it was true, because I believed absolutely in the Temporal Autonomous Zone of Black Rock City."

windborne grey frogs (dowd), Saturday, 17 March 2012 22:51 (five years ago) Permalink


^ interview here - more of a lamentation for people who passed on, love that shot of the lamp going off..

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 18 March 2012 01:11 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

inside report from fukushima nuclear reactor evacuation zone


Milton Parker, Thursday, 3 May 2012 23:54 (five years ago) Permalink

Roadside Picnic coming back into print (in English) for the first time in 30 years fwiw

Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 3 May 2012 23:55 (five years ago) Permalink

bought it at B&N a couple of weeks ago actually!

I cannot host as my wife hates Walker (latebloomer), Friday, 4 May 2012 07:42 (five years ago) Permalink

More on the video game:


toby, Friday, 4 May 2012 08:36 (five years ago) Permalink

> Roadside Picnic coming back into print (in English) for the first time in 30 years fwiw

amazon.co.uk have always had copies. in fact there as SF Masterworks edition which must be newer as the imprint isn't 30 years old. (2007 it says)


koogs, Friday, 4 May 2012 08:49 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah I read the SF Masterworks edition in 2008.

treefell, Friday, 4 May 2012 12:43 (five years ago) Permalink

My brother gave me the Geoff Dyer book for my birthday, but I haven't read it yet. Not sure what to expect.

Moodles, Friday, 4 May 2012 13:27 (five years ago) Permalink

A heart-stopping, high-octane thrill ride that never let's up, that's what

bark ruffalo (latebloomer), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:06 (five years ago) Permalink

Dyer's greatest regret in life = a good punchline, esp. 'cause you suspect he's serious.

I serve at the pleasure of Dr. Dre and a team of Sorbonne scientists. (R Baez), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:09 (five years ago) Permalink

okay in AMERICA I should have said


Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:09 (five years ago) Permalink

the vid milton posted is amazing

ogmor, Monday, 7 May 2012 23:47 (five years ago) Permalink

otm, completely mesmerising.

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 19:50 (five years ago) Permalink

i have an english PDF of roadside picnic ... one of the fort thunder guys had it downloadable on his website, i believe it was m4t br1nkm4n ... maybe it was even the fort thunder website itself?

seems to have been taken down now but i can share if anybody would like.

the late great, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 20:40 (five years ago) Permalink

kind of a bummer because it was where i'd go to read all of the teratoid heights comics

the late great, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 20:41 (five years ago) Permalink

RIP providence

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 22:09 (five years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Tarkovsky shot his final two features as an exile in the West. He left the Soviet Union behind, and never returned to science fiction. But he did express an unlikely admiration for James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984), claiming “its vision of the future and the relation between man and its destiny is pushing the frontier of cinema as an art.”

Shame T didn't stick around for Terminator 2.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 22 December 2014 21:58 (three years ago) Permalink

Good piece - I suppose I'll never be able to read another article about these films w/out seeing a quote from Geoff Dyer but hey ho.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 22 December 2014 22:02 (three years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

i think this might be my favorite movie now?

i watched it last night for the first time. first tarkovsky film i've seen, period. there are so many things that are wonderful about it, but i'll just point out a few things that stuck with me:

- the opening sequence. it starts with a really slow entrance through a set of open doors, but the doors almost seem to be floating in space. gradually a second layer is overlaid on top of the first, but it's so slow and subtle that i think some people wouldn't even notice. the second layer just barely ~shakes~ up and down, creating a hallucinatory feeling. i wish i was at home so i could include a screenshot, but the effect is absolutely amazing. iirc there's a sword that is part of one of the two layers, and it appears to be leaning up against the wall of the underlying layer. a minute later, an earthquake seemingly occurs and the scene really DOES shake - but of course that turns out to be the nearby train which passes periodically during the first part of the movie. it's just a mindblowing way to open the film.

- i think maybe pashmina mentioned this upthread, but the long take rail sequence into the zone is so good. each of the three characters gets a good, loooooooong time on camera, and then they each get a turn again. they're zooming off into toward this...zone...and they look fearful and courageous at the same time, and curious, and disoriented. but it's really the sound that makes the sequence, starting off with the rhythmic track noise and evolving into musique concrete. speaking of sound...

- the sound in this movie is unbelievably creative, and it carries the movie through some of the slower scenes that aren't as compelling as the others. so many of the sounds were obviously constructed in a studio and added in later. most of the time it's not 'realistic' at all but it's nearly always beautiful sounding. the film is pretty much a dreamtrance, and the sound is a big reason why it works so well. it reminds me of the sound design of Eraserhead, which Lynch and Alan Splet labored over for years, meticulously recording and editing each sound.

- i also enjoyed the allusions to wizard of oz (another lynch thing) - popping into color, falling asleep in the field of flowers, searching for something that grants wishes.

watching solaris (finally) later this week, i can hardly wait!

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 10 March 2015 15:18 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm PAINFULLY overdue for a rewatch of motherfucking Stalker

a date with density (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:35 (two years ago) Permalink

only took me ten years to finally watch this movie it was good !

conrad, Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:40 (two years ago) Permalink

it's one of my favourites, as well.

but i gather you need to be in the right state of mind to watch it, because of how slow it is, which is one of the things i love about it

F♯ A♯ (∞), Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:43 (two years ago) Permalink

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