Stalker (1979) is a film adaptation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s novel Roadside Picnic directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (best known for Solaris). The film follows an expedition led by a guide commonly known as a ‘Stalker’ (Aleksandr Kaidanovsky) who takes a writer seeking inspiration (Anatoli Solonitsyn) and a professor seeking knowledge (Nikolai Grinko) to the Zone, a mysterious site said to fulfill one’s innermost desires but is fraught with dangers which can be felt but not seen. To get to the Zone, the trio travels through landscapes filled with ruins of modern society in various states of “re-naturalization” while engaging in intense philosophical discussions. Like most of Tarkovsky’s films, Stalker at times moves at a glacial pace creating a meditative state allowing viewers to more fully absorb emotions and ideas while appreciating the beauty of the performances, cinematography and music.
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