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August 21, 2004

A Walk Toward the Pilman Radiant

Saw Tarkovsy's "Stalker" again recently. Once more, I liked Artemyev's cold, rich music, the landscapes of industrial terrain vague, the slowness and long silences, some moments when the field of vision seems to be filled with frozen time. The dialogues are not that grand, but maybe that's intentional. Sometimes I had the impression that Tarkovsky wants the camera to assume the position of the eye of God, which, of course, is only interesting under the premise that God doesn't exist, that "God" is just an outside view on humanity which the dead, non-human eye of the camera can provide. My favorite moment occurs when they fall asleep on the river bank, and the camera and the black dog hover over them. All of a sudden, their bodies, especially the professor's face, look incredibly strange, as if they were themselves the extraterrestrial miracles they've been looking for.

Both Artemyev and Tarkovsky took such an awful dive after they got co-opted by capitalism. I'd consider "Offret" an atrociously bad movie, because Tarkovsky in that phase of his life really got Bergmanesque religion, univocally and terminally. And Artemyev got Mikhalkov, which is even worse.


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