Stalker ★★★★½

"There was a lot of grief, and fear, and pain, but I've never regretted it, nor envied anyone. It's just fate. It's life, it's us. And if there were no sorrow in our lives, it wouldn't be better, it would be worse. Because then there'd be no happiness, either. And there'd be no hope."


What can I even say, man?

The film-making is casually, effortlessly miraculous, in its own modest but masterful way.

The ultra-low-fi science fiction world-building is languid and subtle, puzzle pieces fitting together through scraps of dialogue and random imagery given context and meaning over time.

The blisteringly intelligent philosophical musings - (on the nature of human desire; the maddening mystery and knock-on consequences inherent in living in a world with an intangible, unfathomable, unknowable supernatural force; the futility and necessity of hope, and finding it by whatever means possible; the need for belief in anything in order to keep on living; the merits and pitfalls of artistic expression and criticism; and so on) - are mind-bogglingly head-spinning enough to leave you chewing over the film's smorgasbord of ideas for...well, a very very long unit of measurement of time, that's for sure.

And by jove, I've been looking forward to seeing that amazing final shot in its proper filmic context ever since Mark Cousins showed and talked of it in his epic The Story of Film: An Odyssey series all those years ago.

Who knows?
Maybe Stalker will finally be the film that makes me shell out for one of those ridiculously over-priced Criterion Collection Blu-rays?

I'll keep you posted, comrades...

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