ALAKSANDR KAYDANOVSKI, ANATOLI SOLONITSYN
DRAMA / SCI -FI / USRR / 1979 / 163’
Stalker (Russ. Сталкер) – a philosophical drama directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, inspired by Roadside Picnic, a novel written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, and premiered in 1979. A classic work of twentieth-century world cinematography, typified by an avant-garde approach to film form. Through a series of long hypnotising shots, the director weaves a meditative narrative about the spiritual condition of humanity in the latter-half of the twentieth century.
Stalker is Tarkovsky’s own interpretation of the figure of yurodivy (a blessed fool) that has been ingrained in the Russian culture for centuries. The title protagonist plies his trade as a guide to the mystifying territory known as the Zone, in which – legend has it – supernatural power rule supreme. One day the guide takes Writer and Professor on a trek towards the heart of the no-go area. The pair intends to reach the mysterious Room that supposedly makes the most secret dreams come true. This hypnotic journey across post-apocalyptic landscape turns out to be an internal trip towards the very core of oneself, as experienced by each of the men.
The aesthetic qualities of Stalker have inspired countless film makers. In 1980, Tarkovsky was awarded the Special Prize by the Ecumenical Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.