From Westworld to Annihilation, no sci-fi film is more influential than Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker

Being a stalker in Tarkovsky’s world is the ultimate act of self-denial. Stalkers constantly circumvent the boundaries of legality and intentionally invade an area that is inaccessible to anyone, and in order to do this one must completely free oneself from one’s personal goals, dreams and desires. The men he must guide, in this case The Writer and The Professor, barely comprehend the space they desperately believe will fulfill their desires as they approach this pilgrimage according to their respective, often restrictive, worldviews.

In the end, as the three reach the heart of the zone, they reveal their own hearts and reveal their innermost desires, no matter how utterly shameful or disturbing they may be. No matter how many masks you don, the Zone finds a way to lay bare your soul and compels men who dare to venture into that space to be perceived.

In a heartbreaking example of life imitating art, Tarkovsky’s own journey to completing Stalker was just as perilous and perilous as the film’s pilgrimage. After beginning work on “Stalker” in 1976, various problems plagued the project – ruined negatives from location shoots delayed production, the film’s cinematographer had to be replaced abruptly due to personal conflicts, and Tarkovsky suffered cardiac arrest two years later, which delayed production the release of the film continues. Additionally, the film’s principal photography, which was set to be shot in Tajikistan, was later relocated to Estonia due to an earthquake, and the film crew had to relocate near a hydroelectric power station that was spewing toxic waste, causing several crew members to become ill.

These intense behind-the-scenes struggles are reflected in the philosophies that “Stalker” espouses, but rather than detracting from the film’s quality, they only serve to intensify its beauty and horror. From Westworld to Annihilation, no sci-fi film is more influential than Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker

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