Stephen McFerron, Cinematic Doctrine’s newest contributor, joins Melvin to discuss Stalker, the popular Andrei Tarkovsky science-fiction classic!
- Introducing Stalker is equally simple (three men travel through a zone to find a room that grants one’s greatest desire) and complex (constant philosophical debate, ruminations upon the terror of desire, and the intimidating presence of The Zone).
- Stephen, “I think it’s about evangelism and the Christian walk – to some degree.”
- Stalker is not only literally long, coming in at 162-minutes, it also can feel long with exceedingly drawn-out sequences, but Melvin feels these moments imitate the mundane periods in our life that help us think.
- The Zone that our characters traverse is not only depicted like a character itself, but a deity as well.
- The Zone demands respect if what it has to offer is to be obtained, something one may consider is similar to God Himself.
- Spiritualism and Christianity were largely prohibited in Russian film and art during 1979, and yet Tarkovsky cleverly depicts Christian symbolism, strife, and meditations throughout Stalker‘s runtime.
- One of Melvin’s favorite aspects of Stalker is the two brief reprieves where characters sit down and talk directly to the audience, exposing their soul through poetic raison d’être.
- Melvin, “Stalker really wrestles with the concept, “You may think you know what you want, but what you want may not be what you wanted.””
- Evangelism is often a painfully slow, seemingly fruitless process. And yet it often helps orient the evangelist to God first and foremost, despite its subject being the Godless.
- Getting into the final monologue of the film delivered by the Stalker’s wife, which kills Melvin.
- Sometimes with evangelistic pursuits we neglect to focus on one of our most rewarding responsibilities: the family.
- God permeates not just the spectacular but also the mundane. Is that not also joyful?
- Melvin believes there’s a severe criticism of industrialization through a particular B-theme of Stalker.
- It seems there’s a perpetual frustration between Russian artists and the Russian government. Stalker definitely includes some of that cultural tension.
Stalker is Unrated. It features Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, and Nikolay Grinko. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Stalker is available on The Criterion Channel.
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Melvin Benson is the Founder, Editor-In-Chief, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!