Killer Restoration: Stalker
Article by Aaron Haughton
Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 metaphysical sci-fi film, Stalker, has gotten a new restoration and, boy, does it look magnificent. Criterion will be distributing it and is taking pre-orders now. To make this news even more exciting, the restoration will be making a brief tour in select cities (dates listed at bottom of article).
Next to Solaris, Stalker is my next favorite Tarkovsky film, and possible one of the most unique science fiction films I've ever seen. For those unfamiliar, the film is Tarkovsky's last Soviet film and follows three men (A scientist, a writer, and a stalker -- the name given to the guides who navigate the treacherous "zone") as they travel through a restricted area known only as the "Zone," a derelict post-apocalyptic landscape left standing from a previous disaster. The three men navigate the terrain, which is said to alter, rearrange and shift itself, to an area known as the "Room," which is said to fulfill one's most deep desires. This is not posed as a necessarily good thing, as the deepest desire could be a dark one.
The film is chock full of superb cinematography, stunning defunct landscapes, and awe-inspiring philosophy, all with a mysterious edge. It really is a singular cinematic experience that only true masters, such as Tarkovsky, are really capable of crafting. Equal parts odd and stunning, it is sure to get the wheels in your head churning, as you attempt to figure out the world of the zone and our central characters' desires.
I've got my tickets to the restoration screening! Don't miss out on your chance to see this beautiful restoration in its natural habitat -- the big screen. The dates for the restoration screenings are as follows:
- May 16 - 18 in New York City (Film Society of Lincoln Center)
- May 19 - 22 in Los Angeles (LA Landmark)
- May 19 - 25 in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Landmark)
- May 24 & 29 in Baltimore (The Senator)
- May 26, 27 & 29 in Chicago (Music Box Theater)
- May 27, 28 & 30 in Austin (Drafthouse Theater)
- June 1 in Berkeley (BAMPFA)
- June 6 & 8 in Silver Springs (AFI Silver)
- June 15 & 17 in Cleveland (Cleveland Institute of Art)
- July 7 - 12 in Columbus (Gateway Film Center)
Shoutout to Reddit u/monarc for the scoop.