Friday, September 28, 2007

Russian cinema: Your dreams are just a throw of a nut away

Three men, carefully walking in each others footsteps through the grass, following the trajectory of the nut (the fastener kind) they've thrown. Where it lands it is safe to go . They are in the "Zone", an abandoned and restricted area where a catastrophe decades earlier wiped out the inhabitants, and created a place within the zone where it is said that your deepest wishes and dreams will be realized. The three men are "Professor", a scientist, "Author", a successful writer and "Stalker", their guide in the zone, trying to get there. Each of them for his own reasons. But in the zone the shortest and most safe route is not the one of shortest distance.

Yesterday I saw Tarkovsky's film "Stalker" (1979) in a movie theater for the first time, although I've seen it several times on dvd before. Easily one of the ten best films I've seen. Slow, but with an intensity that grows on you, and very russian in style. If you don't crave car chases, superheroes, funny jokes and don't mind thinking once in a while this might be a film for you.

(Listening to while posting: Gaffaman and his space-dub)


Olle said...

I can only agree. It was a long time since I saw it but I remember it very vividly.

Olle said...

Is it shown in Stockholm now?

LS said...

I have never heard of this movie. I remember seeing a Russian movie once called "Kommissarien", about a rather voluptous female police officer in 1930s Russia, I think. Something about her getting pregnant and being unmarried and the general misery of life, but I might remember it wrong. Are there any happy Russian movies?

I love Doctor Zhivago, but that probably doesn't count as a true Russian movie. And it is sad too.

When we were in Yellowstone, we listened to lots of 1960s pops ongs from Russia, all approved by the government of course at that time. The topics were very similar - a soldier has to leave his girlfriend and go out to war, a soldier dies on the battle field, the girls hug the birches and rip their shirts off in despair, black cats are unhappy because a black cat means bad luck, a soldier comes back to the city and all the girls want to be his girlfriend, and so on and on and on... very interesting in fact! Listening to those songs with simultaneous translation by my friends were a real cultural experience.

O.K. said...

"Is it shown in Stockholm now?"

Only that one night at Cinemateket.

"Are there any happy Russian movies?"

Happy as in prettyfied glossy hollywood-happy? I doubt it.

pippi longstockings said...

Even I agree. One of our favorite movies. We have a video that we are looking at almost every year.

I like to look at movies that can make you associate, think and look at life in different ways .

LS said...

I think we will have to put this movie on our DVD-list!

O.K. said...

Do so, and tell me what you thought.