Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky is an incredible visual tone poem
I was slumming through J&R Music World last Sunday bingi9ng on movies when I looked up at a very strange series of images of the store's video screen. They were from "Stalker" a film by Andrei Tarkovsky that shamefully I have never heard about before. The images were so eerie I started reading the copy on the back of the DVD which outlines how influential this movie has been for directors as disparate as Spielberg and David Lynch. The plot concerns the goings-on in a town on the outskirts of "The Zone", a wilderness area which has been cordoned off by the government. The film suggests that the Zone was the site of a meteor strike, or perhaps of an alien spaceship landing. Few people who enter 'The Zone" ever return, except for a rare breed of men called "stalkers". Fabulous premise, no? And so ripe for a Hollywood remake. The film is really challenging to watch but so far I love the use of sound which is very abstract and conceptual in a way that clearly influenced David Lynch. Visually it's very raw and unsettling which makes it totally UN-Hollywood. Big props to whoever at J&R programs the film choices!