Tarkowskij's "Stalker" as a lesson in spirituality

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Tarkowskij's "Stalker" as a lesson in spirituality

Post by Georg »

... I am barely able to describe what this film evokes in me.

While from a cognitive perspective, there are different interpretations,
Tarkowskij's intention is a purely spiritual one and he even rejected interpretations.
In fact I never have seen a film as deeply spiritual as this one.

And I never have seen a film that so directly is including the spectator -
when you watch it, it makes you part of it and it starts to go into a dialogue and ask you questions.
People that watch it with the usual consumer attitude will be absolutely disappointed
(I remember the first time I saw it - I was always waiting for something to happen, but there is no "action" outside).

For a rough introduction, one can read Wikipedia:

From an article by James Norton in http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/ which is a good
source of information and interviews:
"... Stalker, ultimately, is about a threshold, the forces that guard the threshold, the irreconcilable spaces it separates,
the fears and desires that inhibit its crossing. The threshold cannot be crossed, although it is open ..."

... and this is where the film left me, like being in front of this room which is not outside but inside me.
And while I knew it is open yet I had the intense feeling that to get in there I have to jump into an abyss.
There was a time where I was afraid of heights - and I am still a little - but I know now that this fear is about something else -
it is the fear of letting go the ego.
And while this reluctance comes from the mind and for the mind the gateless barrier cannot be crossed,
there is a yearning which is beyond the mind and which is already on the other side and includes it all ...
"Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses" (Boethius)

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Re: Tarkowskij's "Stalker" as a lesson in spirituality

Post by Speculum »

I have never heard of this movie, but it is intriguing. Thanks for calling it to our attention.

I think I look forward to watching it!

Here is the description of it from Amazon.com:
Challenging, provocative, and ultimately rewarding, Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is a mind-bending experience that defies explanation. Like Tarkovsky's earlier and similarly enigmatic science fiction classic Solaris, this long, slow, meditative masterpiece demands patience and total attention; anyone accustomed to faster pacing is likely to abandon the nearly three-hour film before its first hour is over. On the other hand, those who approach Tarkovsky's work in a properly receptive (and wide awake) frame of mind are likely to appreciate the film's seductive depth of theme and hypnotic imagery. Set in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic future (although the time-frame is never specified), the eerie and unsettling story focuses on the title character, Stalker (Aleksandr Kajdanovsky), who leads characters known only as the Writer (Anatoli Solonitsyn) and the Scientist (or Professor, played by Nikolai Grinko) into a mysterious region called The Zone. Tarkovsky films their journey as a long odyssey, or religious pilgrimage, and center of The Zone--said to be under an alien influence--is where each of these men hopes to find a kind of personal transcendence. Despite obvious parallels to The Wizard of Oz, Tarkovsky's film is devoid of special effects or any fantastical elements typically associated with science fiction or fantasy. Instead, Stalker makes astonishing use of sound and bleak-but-beautiful imagery to envelope the viewer into the eerie atmosphere of The Zone and the dank, colorless landscape that surrounds it. And while the film's glacial pacing may be off-putting to some viewers, there's no denying that Stalker has a mesmerizing power of its own, including a thought-provoking and highly debatable ending that propels the film to a higher level of meaning and significance. --Jeff Shannon
Here's Netflix:
This science fiction milestone from director Andrei Tarkovsky takes you into the Zone, a mysterious, guarded realm containing a mystical room in which occupants' secret dreams come true. Stalker, a man able to lead others to this holy grail, escorts a writer and a scientist through this foreboding territory and confronts several unexpected challenges along the way. Based on the Russian sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic.
"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust