8bolt’s review published on Letterboxd:
Quite a few things to say on Stalker (spoilers ahead):
- FUCK. That trip to the Lightbox was hellish. Never thought I would make it in time.
- I feel like it was faith that I had another opportunity to see this again after missing it out on the Andrei Tarkovsky retrospective (to be fair, I missed the whole retrospective) last year.
- 4K restoration, baby!
- The entire look of this film is quite beautiful to look. The textures really pop out, specially in at the beginning in the bar and the bedroom. The use of sepia to separate the world outside from the Zone's blues and greens was a nice touch. Speaking of which...
- Man, the Zone looks awesome. I think I made a comment of Kurosawa being the master of depicting nature, and it looks like Tarkovsky wasn't far behind it. The wind, fog, sand and especially the water contributed a lot to the way the Zone looked and felt. I also like the Zone a lot because it reminds me a lot of my dreams.
- The sound design was very great as well. Every footstep taken and every water drip were great to listen to.
- Cute dog!
- Awww, the writer's hat was on the car.
- Surprised by the small bits of humor throughout the film. Particularly the insults between the writer and the professor. The sudden phone call was funny as well.
- Despite being called Sc-fi, almost nothing about it remotely felt like Sc-fi, aside the mention about possible aliens.
- I always questioned what the symbols on the Criterion cover of Stalker meant. When seeing the nuts and cloth before they enter the Zone and then the hand come into the picture, it was a 'ah-ha' moment for me.
- "All these poetry readings and going in circles is nothing else but a certain form of apology". Tarkovsky being meta???
- A lot has been written about the philosophy and themes of this film, so I won't bother into that. But I will say my favourite distillation of what the film means comes from the quote, "My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do I want? " Humorous and accurate.
- Feel bad for the poor guy's stomach next to me who kept rumbling throughout the film. Was a bit distracting, but I feel for him.
- I was worried about the runtime and falling asleep after feeling sleepy during "The Passion of Joan of Arc", but I kept awake the whole time to my surprise.
Overall: It's only my second Tarkovsky, but I really liked it a lot. Not really sure where to go from here though with him.