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Stalker, Fri September 29
2006, 7:00 only

Tarkovsky’s epic sci-fi opus

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Stalker shows at IFS on Fri September 29, 2006, 7:00 only

Tarkovsky’s epic sci-fi opus
Fri September 29
2006, 7:00 only

Andrei Tarkovsky’s epic length sci-fi opus “Stalker” chronicles nothing less than the journey of man toward happiness and enlightenment. Set in the near future, the film uses highly metaphorical archetypes for characters as three men, a Writer, a Professor, and a Stalker, or guide, named only by profession, move through “the Zone.” The Zone is a wasteland roped off by the government after a meteor strike twenty years earlier, and they make their way toward a fabled room that will supposedly grant the innermost desire of any whom enters it. Progress is maddeningly slow, as the Stalker informs them that a direct route to the room is not possible in the Zone, since it punishes those who do not show it proper respect. As such, the bulk of the film records the last two hundred meters of their journey almost in real time, as they crisscross their way toward the Promised Land.

Their slow trek allows much time for philosophizing, and the Writer and Professor spar with each other about their ideals and methodology. Clearly, the film means for us to take these two characters as representatives of man’s approaches in the great struggle toward knowledge, and it works, for the most part. The Writer is a particularly fascinating creation and his arguments against himself are eternal dilemmas caused by knowing too much. Since he is fully aware of the ramifications of true wish fulfillment, it creates a sense of fear of his own limitations and the implications of the room’s very existence. When faced with the prospect of actually reaching Nirvana, which the film presents as impetus for all art and science, it becomes daunting to them, lending tragic dimensions to their journey.

The pleasures felt while watching Stalker are mostly sensory. The film’s use of sound is sophisticated and its cinematography is stunningly good, representing both some of the best color and black and white lensing ever done. The wasteland of the Zone is ultra-detailed, brimming with textured filth. The editing rhythms rarely exceed the pace of the journeymen, and as a result of all this the film manages to transport us elsewhere without elaborate effects. (J. Heilman,

To see a trailer and read a review, visit


10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

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