My 100 favourite films. Entry #1: Stalker.

Stalker (1979)
directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
starring Aleksandr Kaidanovsky, Anatoli Solonitsyn and Nikolai Grinko
Country: West Germany / Soviet Union
Genre: Sci-fi
Visuals: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Everyday watchability: 3/10
Average shot length: roughly 63 seconds (with some shots as long as 4 1/2 minutes)

If I were to sum this movie up into one word, that word would probably be "gorgeous." If I had three words at my disposal, I would probably say "gorgeous but slow." But the pace is perfect for a movie like this, allowing the viewer to absorb everything in the frame, and then absorb it again, and when you're really done absorbing it you're still in the same shot, so you might as well absorb it some more. The setpieces and camera work are truly amazing with nice rich colours.

When I was watching this film, it was hard to explain to my friends that I was watching a movie called Stalker. "No, it's not about that kind of a stalker. It's about a guy who leads people into a place called the zone where they can make one wish and it will come true, but it's really unsafe and mysterious and some people don't return. It's kind of a sci-fi film but there aren't any special effects. But it's really good, I swear."


2 comment(s).:

April 25, 2008 at 11:08 AM makenna said...

what is this movie? why didn't we watch it? it looks fucking beautiful. UGH!

April 25, 2008 at 11:18 AM Lee said...

Sorry. Yeah, it is truly beautiful, especially for those of us who like decrepit things and long takes. Interestingly enough, I watched this the same day we went to go see The Bourne Ultimatum.