Stalker: A Slow-Burn, Spiritualistic, Science-Fiction Masterpiece

Andres Tarkovsky Stalker reviewed on Christian Movie Podcast Cinematic Doctrine Popcorn Theology
Stalker – A Slow-Burn, Spiritualistic, Science-Fiction Masterpiece

Stephen McFerronCinematic Doctrine’s newest contributor, joins Melvin to discuss Stalker, the popular Andrei Tarkovsky science-fiction classic!

Topics:

  • 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.

Recommendations:

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 Cinematic Doctrine Christian Movie Podcast Host

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!

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