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Stalker (1979)

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.
(NR, 161 min.)

Showtimes

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

7:00 PM

One of the most immersive and rarefied experiences in the history of cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker embarks on a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalyptic landscape. A hired guide—the “Stalker” of the title—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, his painstaking attention to material detail and sense of organic atmosphere further enriched by this vivid new digital restoration. At once a religious allegory, a reflection of contemporary political anxieties, and a meditation on film itself—among many other interpretations—Stalker envelops the viewer by opening up a multitude of possible meanings. [Janus]

Starring: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Genre(s): Drama, Sci-Fi
Languages: Russian w/ English subtitles

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"The film has a hypnotic pull, drawing the viewer deeper and deeper into its enigmatic adventure by crafting a world all its own."

— Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

"Tarkovsky conjures images like you've never seen before; and as a journey to the heart of darkness, it's a good deal more persuasive than Coppola's."

— Derek Adams, Time Out

"Seminal feature from Tarkovsky, the master of atmosphere and multi-functional allegory is truly affecting, as well as fodder for countless film studies curricula."

— David Parkinson, Empire Magazine

"It is masterfully done, contains some haunting images, and has a difficult-to-pinpoint mesmerism in the way it progresses. Once it gets you it will hold you like a fly trapped in amber."

— David Jenkins, Little White Lies

"A tangled knot of memories, fears, fantasies, nightmares, paradoxical impulses, and a yearning for something that's simultaneously beyond our reach and yet intrinsic to every one of us."

— Nick Schager, Slant Magazine

"Tarkovsky majestically creates through editing rather than special effects the unstable universe of the Zone, and amidst the grime and the destruction, summons up moments of pure magic."

— Tom Dawson, BBC.com

"There are no flying saucers in the great Russian director's haunting tale of a journey into the depths of a postapocalyptic landscape, but it offers visual splendor, as well as mysteries, portents and miracles."

— Kristin M. Jones, Wall Street Journal