New York


Directed by Andrei Tarakovsky; script by Arkady and Boris Strugatzky; produced by Mosfilm Studios

A number of contemporary American films seem anxious to catapult humanity out of the supposed archaisms of the body into the flawlessly estheticized terrain of future time and space—a landscape of smooth surfaces, stainless interiors, and humanoid heroics. Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker is a Russian view of coming attractions, but unlike its American counterparts it shows a future returned to the idea of embodiment (consideration of the physical organism). The film suggests a cyclical link between primordial ooze and the sludgy remains of a disemboweled Machine Age. Like the American variety, however, Stalker is also a landscape film, a slow horizontal stare at the purported decay of the Enlightenment and at the invasion by industry of the refuge of the pastoral.

The Stalker (Alexander Kaidanovsky) lives with his wife (Alice Friendlich) and his mutant daughter in a state of atrophied industrial

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