Stalker – Andrei Tarkovsky 1979

Creative Arts BA (Hons), Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Coursework, Project 1: The Shape of Time

Description: “A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.”

This is a movie that was mentioned in Doug’s intro lecture that intrigued me when I first heard about it. It is loosely based on the sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, which I intend to finish reading too.

The movie is from 1979 and is directed by Andrei Tarkovsky whose films I am aware of. Stalker has been one I have wanted to watch for a while and I was not disappointed.

The movie is slow, dreamlike and the long camera shots pull you into the film in a very experiential almost hypnotic way. The background is haunting and makes you feel uncomfortable at times.

The sepia like tones used and the muted colours of the zone add to the atmosphere created by Tarkovsky.

In terms of plot, it is simple and there isn’t the high-speed action of modern sci-fi but that is what makes this movie so enthralling. The slowness makes you feel like you are watching it in real-time and you see the existential struggles of the three characters as they play out.

It is a philosophical movie about what happiness means, what it means to be human, about what we yearn for. At the same time, it is a movie about time and what passing time means.