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Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

Year Of Release

Andrei Tarkovsky

Arkadiy Strugatskiy, Boris Strugatskiy, Andrei Tarkovsky

Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

Stalker is a very complex film, however, its plot is very simple: a man living in a desolate and miserable industrial Russian town, promises two men (a writer and a professor), that he will guide them to the center of a forbidden area known as 'The Zone' to find a room which can apparently grant wishes. The films power is in its symbolism and it's breathtaking cinematography. The train journey of the three men near the start of the film is a perfect example. You would think that with the foreboding and surreal atmosphere created, the men were aboard a spaceship on their way to a distant and unknown world. The change in picture color between the men's home and the mysterious 'Zone', reflects both their hopes and expectations about what they might find, and the relief of having escaped their dreary and depressing lives.

Much like Persona, Stalker has more emphasis on characterization and has a more minimalist style. The film is a visually dazzling masterpiece. My two favourite scenes are the dream sequence and the scene near the end of the film in which the Stalker's daughter is sitting on his shoulders. Both obviously very symbolic and ambiguous scenes, made all the more powerful by the haunting music. From start to finish the film had me asking questions. It's the kind of film that requires audience participation to work, that's it power, the ability to make people think about things.

isn't for everyone (it is high-art after all). It's also three hours long, which I wasn't expecting (maybe a little too long if I'm perfectly honest). However, after the first viewing, the film becomes infinitively re-watchable because of it's mystique - defiantly one of those films that you must watch before you die.