One of the most immersive and rarefied experiences in the history of cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979) embarks on a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalyptic landscape. A hired guide—the “Stalker”—leads a writer and a scientist into the heart of the Zone, the restricted site of a long-ago disaster, where the three men eventually zero in on the Room, a place rumored to fulfill one’s most deeply held desires. Adapting a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and making what would be his final Soviet feature, Tarkovsky created a challenging and visually stunning work with painstaking attention to material detail and sense of organic atmosphere. At once a religious allegory, a reflection of contemporary political anxieties, and a meditation on film itself, Stalker envelops the viewer by opening up a multitude of possible meanings.
Stalker is presented in conjunction with MFA’s fall exhibition, No Time, which explores human relationships to the natural world in the past, present, and future.
Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia, 1979, 161 min., Russian w/ English subtitles
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (1932–1986) was a Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, and theater and opera director. Tarkovsky’s films include Ivan’s Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), The Mirror (1975), and Stalker (1979), among others. He directed the first five of his seven feature films in the Soviet Union; his last two films, Nostalghia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986), were produced in Italy and Sweden, respectively. His work is characterized by long takes, unconventional dramatic structure, distinctly authored use of cinematography, and spiritual and metaphysical themes.