Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
I am having a bit of a rough day today and, as we all know, the cure to any hard day is to watch a really long, confusing Russian film. Thankfully, I think we are finally done with Tarkovsky.
Like I said, this movie was incredibly confusing and I don't really have a clear explanation about what happened. The Stalker is a guide (an apt name for a person who leads people) that takes clients to The Zone. The Zone is an area that apparently grants wishes to whoever enters it. The Stalker begins a journey to take two new people to the Zone, despite the fact that his wife pleads with him to stop. Apparently, every Russian wife has to be miserable.
That almost sounds like an interesting concept, but I am afraid Tarkovsky does everything he can to drain every last drop of excitement from the film. There are ridiculously long shots that are filmed by a stupidly far off distance. Sometimes in these really dull films I can at least find the cinematography to be beautiful. But these shots were just plain weird and didn't feel connected.
One of my writing professors use to say that you shouldn't introduce a loaded gun into a scene if you are not prepared to shoot it. My professor would have bitched Tarkovsky out on this one as he did not really deliver on the promise of his premise. I was also forced to sit through Vanilla Sky with a friend the other day, so it seems my suffering is truly endless.
New camera shot every 88 seconds. And there is no dialogue for the first ten minutes.