Stalker ★★★½

[67]

Second viewing, down a bit from 75. Wasn’t planning on revisiting this yet, but figured what the hell. Remained thoroughly engrossed by Tarkovsky’s mise en scène, gawking admirably at the specific way he pans through and frames things as simple as foliage to somehow make it seem awe-inspiring. (Gold-tinted, slow-panning opener with the doggo might be my favorite single sequence, though.) Much to my dismay, however, I amassed a newfound impotence toward Tark’s philosophical droning, which this time reminded me heavily of my least favorite parts of the Bergman films I find most stomachable. I can only surmise that my previous leniency was in part a result of overwhelming submission to the visual banquet and sheer breadth on exhibition—a slowly percolating method of pageantry that, at the time, was relatively unfamiliar - and, consequently, totally enthralling - to me. That adoration still exists, but now combats directly with a constant disenchantment from the tiresome yammer. To be completely fair, Tarkovsky’s writing - even drowning in the dregs of the theoretical - is slightly more to my tastes than Bergman’s (for the most part), but I must now consent that STALKER suffers once the initial glaze of astonishment is gone and the occasional pangs of enervation were a little too strong to entirely ignore. Regardless of my personal reservations, everyone needs to see this film at least once. Or, rather, especially—maybe even only once.