Tarkovsky’s Stalker – New Restoration
If you are into film, Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” needs no introduction. The 1979 Soviet picture has become a staple of any film school curriculum and a must-see for any cinema connoisseur. And if you have never seen it on a big screen and live in New York, you are in luck, because the new digitally restored version now plays at the Lincoln Center Film Society through this Thursday. Based on what is arguably the most famous Soviet science fiction novel, The Picnic on the Side of the Road by the Strugatsky brothers, it’s an exercise not only in masterful film-making but in film as philosophy. The picture’s deathly location sets of the Zone, an alien-created place where our innermost desire come true, are only matched by the philosophically infused dialogue about the meaning of life and human nature by the film’s three protagonists, the Stalker, who is simply the guide in the treacherous Zone that reads its visitors characters and intentions and changes accordingly, and hist two clients, the Professor and the Writer, whose true nature unfolds as the film progresses.