Andrei Tarkovsky’s Film, Stalker

A note on Andrei Tarkovsky’s amazing film, Stalker — a film as poetry that will stay with me for a long time.

Although filmed in 1979, in terms of its relevance, it could’ve been filmed yesterday. I saw so many things in it, including events that took place both before and after the film was made: the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan; Chernobyl, the BP oil spill, the Prague Spring, Waiting for Godot, Odd Nerdrum, Madame Blavatsky, the Crucifixion, the Twilight Zone…but I guess it’s a “looking glass” kind of film; the contents of your mind, your dreams, your ever-shifting “innermost desires,” what you think you should want, and especially your fears, are mirrored in waters that flow, stagnate, trickle, rain, and bubble up throughout the film. It’s a film about hunger, but one is never quite sure what that hunger is for.

The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good.

–Andrei Tarkovsky

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