STALKER
1979, Janus Films, 163 min, Soviet Union, Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky

A sci-fi tale that unwinds in the environs of the soul takes the form of a nightmarish quest for nothing less than truth itself. A writer (Anatoli Solonitsin) and a scientist (Nikolai Grinko) follow a shaven-headed "stalker" (Aleksandr Kadjanovsky) into forbidden territory, a dangerous wilderness known as the Zone. Tarkovsky forces - or perhaps allows - "reality" to yield up abstract images of startling originality, and his vision of landscape is nothing less than truly mystical - these are places to be found only in humankind's spiritual Baedeker. On top of everything else, Tarkovsky was a director who truly grasped the aesthetic power of color, and this unforgettable pilgrimage is bathed in eerie sepia hues.


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