Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Running time: 163 minutes
Directed by visionary avant-garde director Andrei Tarkovsky, Stalker (1979) is a painterly, poetic film and one of the most revered and ravishing epics of the science-fiction genre. An inner-space odyssey, which like the director's earlier film Solaris (1972) is also cautionary tale about men going to the outer limits of human knowledge, it was loosely based on the novel The Roadside Picnic by brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, a dark satire that was heavily censored by Soviet authorities. Tarkovsky stripped away the novel's plot and focused on a single journey into the 'Zone' – a place where normal rules don't apply and visitors are confronted with their true selves – led by the 'Stalker' (Alexander Kaidanovsky) and his two companions, a writer and a professor played by the Solaris actors Anatoly Solonitsyn and Nikolai Grinko. The last film the director made before his exile in Europe, Stalker was shot in post-industrial locations around Tallinn, Estonia, and proved to be one of the most torturous and troubled of his career with much of original processed footage having been ruined either by a sloppy technical error or, as as the director believed, by sabotage. Absorbing and strikingly beautiful it struck deep chords with its cold war audience and remains equally resonant today.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.