Archive for the ‘Andrei Tarkovsky’ Tag

Unforgettable monologues – Stalker – True Devotion!   Leave a comment

Stalker was the movie which literally opened the floodgates onto allegories of the past also facilitated to view the reflections of my own unfathomable depths of being. Also it heightened the innate demand for transparency, clarity. Stalker is perhaps one of the simplest science fiction movie ever made, the goal is to find the answers in a place called “The Zone”, a mysterious place where a person’s deepest wishes will come true.

And moreover I adore the movies which explain themselves, the paradox too; i.e. its ordinal/cipher which encapsulates the film entirety, essence.

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One such gem is the below monologue:

“You know, my mother was against it. You’ve probably noticed already that he’s not of this world. All our neighborhood laughed at him. He was such a bungler, he looked so pitiful. My mother used to say: “He’s a stalker, he’s doomed, he’s an eternal prisoner! Don’t you know what kind of children the stalkers have?” And I… I didn’t even argue with her. I knew it all myself, that he was doomed, that he was an eternal prisoner, and about the children. Only what could I do? I was sure, I would be happy with him. Of course, I knew I’d have a lot of sorrow, too. But it’s better to have a bitter happiness than… a gray, dull life. Perhaps, I thought it all up later. But then he approached me and said: “Come with me.” And I did, and never regretted it. Never. We had a lot of sorrow, a lot of fear, and a lot of shame. But I never regretted it, and I never envied anyone. It’s just our fate, our life, that’s how we are. And if we haven’t had our misfortunes, we wouldn’t have been better off. It would have been worse. Because in that case, there wouldn’t have been any happiness. And there wouldn’t have been any hope.”

.. and it was Stalkers wife’s capacity to love, her true devotion that mattered amidst myriad of  hypocritical/tangled impulses of scientist, author.

.. and the best is from Tarkovsky himself  “In the end, everything can be reduced to the one simple element which is all a person can count upon in his existence: the capacity to love.”

Andrei Rublev – There and back again!   Leave a comment

Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world: that is the meaning of cinema.

And every time I watch this movie (Tarkovsky’s – Andrei Rublev), the above statement constructs a conceivable space which generates an overpowering sense of bliss. The movie pragmatically describes the fundamental nature of an artist, his relentless search for truth and also on the agony, ecstasy experienced in an attempt to deduce intended meaning.

Excerpts from his Book: Sculpting in Time.

The monk – Rublev, looked at the world with unprotected, childlike eyes, and preached love, goodness and non-resistance to evil .And though he found himself witnessing the most brutal and devastating forms of violence, which seemed to hold sway in the world and led him to bitter disillusionment, he came back in the end to that same truth, rediscovered for himself, about the value of human goodness, of openhearted love which does not count the cost, the one real gift which people can give  each other.

It looks at first sight as if the cruel truth of life as he (Rublev) observes it is in crying contradiction with the harmonious ideal of his work. The crux of the question, however, is that the artist cannot express the moral ideal of his time unless he touches all its running sores, unless he suffers and lives these sores himself. That is how art triumphs over grim, ‘base’ truth, clearly recognizing it for what it is, in the name of its own sublime purpose: such is its destined role. For art could almost be said to be religious in that it is inspired by commitment to a higher goal.

Although, the movie contains a number of references to Christianity and its symbolism, the core, essence of it sheds light on artist’s visual manifestation of the contradictions and complexities of life and thus, finding truth within simplicity which is always devoid of cultural, religious attributes.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love, I have become sounding brass.
And though I have the gift of prophesy,
and understand… all knowledge,
and though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing!
And though I bestow all my goods… and
though I give my body to be burned,
but have not love,
it profits me nothing!

Love suffers long, and is kind;
love envies not; love does not parade itself,
is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly,
seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails…
But whether there be prophesies, they shall fail;
whether there be tongues, they’ll cease;
…knowledge, it shall vanish away.

References:
Sculpting in Time – a book by Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky.
http://people.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/Rublyov.html

Stalker – Art at its purest form.   Leave a comment

“Touched by a masterpiece, a person begins to hear in himself that same call of truth which prompted the artist to his creative act. When a link is established between the work and its beholder, the latter experiences a sublime, purging trauma. Within that aura which unites masterpieces and audience, the best sides of our souls are made known, and we long for them to be freed. In those moments we recognize and discover ourselves, the unfathomable depths of our own potential, and the furthest reaches of our emotions.”  This is exactly what happened to me when I really made an attempt to understand Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’.

Stalker was second movie of tarkovsky that I watched and without any doubt I can say that it completely changed my outlook towards life. It really opens you up in understanding something extraordinary, ploughs & harrows your soul, makes you think and ponder on deeper humane issues.

Stalker (1979), Runtime: 161 mins

Cast: Aleksandr Kajdanovsky, Alisa Freindlikh, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko.

Stalker is a Russian sci-fi film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, it’s about a man’s journey into deepest, darkest corners of his own subconscious. Stalker is one who guides his clients through an area called “the Zone”. It is believed that in ‘the zone’ one’s innermost desires will be fulfilled. Professor and writer are his clients, writer is searching for inspiration, professor wants to realize truth and stalker himself is on an eternal quest for faith.

Stalker is quite impossible to put to words, every time you see the movie you will come up with different observations which may be contradicting, but Tarkovsky himself stated that children understood his films better than adults.

Andrei Tarkovsky on Stalker (excerpts from his own book Sculpting In Time)

What, then, is the main theme that had to sound through Stalker? In the most general terms, it is the theme of human dignity; and of how a man suffers if he has no self-respect. The Stalker seems to be weak, but essentially it is he who is invincible because of his faith and his will to serve others.

Let me remind the reader that when the characters in the film set out on their journey into the Zone, their destination is a certain room in which, we are told, everybody’s most secret wish will be granted. And while the Writer and the Scientist, led by Stalker, are making their hazardous way over the strange expanse of the Zone, their guide tells them at one point either a true story, or else a legend, about another Stalker, nicknamed Diko-óbraz. He had gone to the secret place in order to ask for his brother, who had been killed through his fault, to be brought back to life. When Diko-óbraz returned home, however, he discovered that he had become fabulously wealthy. The Zone had granted what was in reality his most heartfelt desire, and not the wish that he had wanted to convince himself was most precious to him. And Diko-óbraz had hanged himself.

And so the two men reach their objective. They have been through a great deal, thought about themselves, reassessed themselves; and they haven’t the courage to step across the threshold into the room which they have risked their lives to reach. They have become conscious that at the tragic, deepest level of awareness they are imperfect. They had summoned the strength to look into themselves—and had been horrified; but in the end they lack the spiritual courage to believe in themselves.

The arrival of Stalker’s wife in the cafe where they are resting confronts the Writer and the Scientist with a puzzling, to them incomprehensible, phenomenon. There before them is a woman who has been through untold miseries because of her husband, and has had a sick child by him; but she continues to love him with the same selfless, unthinking devotion as in her youth. Her love and her devotion are that final miracle which can be set against the unbelief, cynicism, moral vacuum poisoning the modern world, of which both the Writer and the Scientist are victims.

In Stalker I make some sort of complete statement: namely that human love alone is—miraculously— proof against the blunt assertion that there is no hope for the world. This is our common, and incontrovertibly positive possession. Although we no longer quite know how to love…

The Writer in Stalker reflects on the frustration of living in a world of necessities, where even chance is the result of some necessity which for the moment remains beyond our ken. Perhaps the Writer sets out for the Zone in order to encounter the Unknown, in order to be astonished and startled by it. In the end, however, it is simply a woman who startles him by her faithfulness and by the strength of her human dignity. Is everything subject to logic, then, and can it all be separated into its components and tabulated?

In this film I wanted to mark out that essentially human thing that cannot be dissolved or broken down, that forms like a crystal in the soul of each of us and constitutes its great worth. And even though outwardly their journey seems to end in fiasco, in fact each of the protagonists acquires something of inestimable value: faith. He becomes aware in himself of what is most important of all; and that most important thing is alive in every person.

Stalkers wife monologue: It all boils down to this scene which truly is the essence of the movie and that is “In the end everything can be reduced to the one simple element which is all a person can count upon in his existence: the capacity to love.”

More Reading:

http://www.filmstudies.ca/journal/pdf/cj-film-studies21_Totaro_Tarkovsky.pdf

http://people.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/Stalker_GP.html

http://www.filmleaf.net/showthread.php?2920-Stalker-%281979%29

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