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Andrei Tarkovsky

rustinglass · 48 · 12707

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Reply #45 on: June 12, 2016, 11:24:34 PM


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Reply #46 on: January 29, 2018, 01:59:36 PM
Excerpt from The Poetry of Decay: Andrei Tarkovsky’s Newly Remastered Stalker
at Riot Material magazine: http://www.riotmaterial.com/the-poetry-of-decay-andrei-tarkovsky-remastered-stalker/

by Alci Rengifo

The year has begun with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists — those rational soothsayers of the global landscape — moving their infamous Doomsday Clock closer to midnight by thirty seconds. As it stands according to the clock, we are but two minutes away from cataclysm. If we are to approach it in messianic terms, we are living two minutes away from apocalypse. Desolation now haunts our daydreams and nightmares, even if the Doomsday Clock adjustment goes unnoticed by the wider populace still marching to the rhythm of a modern world. But the sense of upcoming cataclysm seeps into our pop consciousness, as personified by the sudden rise of dystopian television, young adult and adult fiction, and the return to political discourse of words associated with futuristic struggle (#resistance).

But what would desolation truly look like? Would the collapse of civilization be a scream or a whimper? The Criterion Collection has recently released a beautifully remastered edition of 1979’s Stalker, one of the great cinematic meditations on decay of both nature and the soul, by the great Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky. It is set in a quietly apocalyptic future, where cloudy skies hover over landscapes of woods and entangled metal, muddy streams and darkened waters. Its power is unnerving but delivered like a whisper. A poet of the lens, Tarkovsky wishes to immerse the viewer in an environment, instead of appealing to the senses with violence or action. Stalker is about personalities inhabiting a destroyed world. How everything was obliterated is left to the viewer to ponder, but knowing our species we can easily imagine for ourselves countless scenarios.

Based on the novel Roadside Picnic,  by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, the film centers on a rugged man known as a “Stalker,” played by Aleksandr Kaidanovsky, who hires himself out to a Writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn) and a Professor (Nikolai Grinko) to trek into a forbidden area known as “the Zone.” In the tradition of classic science fiction, we are only given glimpses via narrative as to how this Zone came to be. It could have been a meteorite crash. Government forces have closed it off, but the Stalker is adept at smuggling the curious across. The aim of the journey is to find a mysterious space called “The Room,” which is said to grant anyone their deepest desires. It is almost a poetic allegory for our insistence on magical thinking even amid catastrophe, or the seeking of magic as deliverance from a world coming apart. If the original novel was more of a standard science fiction journey, Tarkovsky takes the material and transforms it into a serene experience where below the calm there is subdued chaos.

Read the entire article at Riot Material: http://www.riotmaterial.com/the-poetry-of-decay-andrei-tarkovsky-remastered-stalker/


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Reply #47 on: December 29, 2020, 12:59:22 PM
The first Tarkovsky film I ever saw was The Sacrifice. The Sven Nyvkist cinematography... and a little known-fact: Claire Denis (future director of Beau Travail was the casting director or some such thing way back then.

It's still my favorite. I pull it out a few times a year and just settle in and immerse myself.

My favorite Tarkovsky is The Sacrifice. It was also his last film.

You really have to see The Sacrifice. It's a perfection of the style of Nostalghia- really, it's the the single most perfect example of Tarkovsky's style- and it's more far-reaching. And with cinematography by Sven Nykvist! This was one of a small handful of films in my life that caught me at the time and place to feel like a complete, radical revelation (Safe and Husbands and Wives being up there in that category, too). I love all of Tarkovsky, but this is the one, for me.

s/o to godardian. the ending of The Sacrifice is what got me back into Tarkovsky. I had never seen The Sacrifice. I don't want to spoil the ending but it's amazing and there's humor in it

last night I rewatched Solaris, which Tarkovsky made because he didn't like sci-fi, and he didn't like 2001 (which sends pubrick in a tailspin in this thread). I like how in it they say only sad people wonder about the meaning of life. it says we shouldn't explore space, we should explore ourselves, and of course I agree with that. Love Is Better Than Science. but actually. Love Means More To Humans Than Science. and in other words, Love Is Not Science