CATEGORIES Movie NewsChances are you've never heard of "Stalker," the landmark science-fiction film from 1979. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, perhaps Russia's greatest movie director, the movie tells the tale of an unnamed and enigmatic man known only as the Stalker, who leads people through "the Zone," a government-enclosed area that had contact with an alien force and no longer holds itself to the rules of physics. On his latest journey, the Stalker takes two people through the Zone, avoiding military forces and invisible dangers to reach something known only as "the Room," a location where you can fulfill your most desired wishes.
Essayist Geoff Dyer has recently published Zona: A Book about a Film about a Journey to a Room, which doesn't just break down "Stalker" scene-by-scene, but also details how the movie has impacted his life and how films can impact all of us.
To celebrate the release of Zona, our friends at HuffPost Books are participating in an event this Sunday, March 11, entitled Stalker Sunday. It's real simple: start the movie at 8 p.m. EDT and follow along with HP Books, the Daily News, the Los Angeles Review of Books, hardcore sci-fi fans and fellow newbies to the acclaimed movie. Whether it's to ask a question or offer a 140-character review, this is your chance to discover a unique film experience with scores of people all over the web.
You can either keep your eyes peeled to the hashtag #StalkerSunday on Twitter or head over to MediaBistro, where they'll be collecting everyone's comments as they watch the movie. If you're still not sold on checking this out, here are 6 More Reasons To Watch "Stalker" on Stalker Sunday.
1. It's FREE on the Internet. You don't have to worry about tracking down a copy, you don't have to worry about spending one cent, you don't have to worry about ending up on some FBI watch-list for movie piracy.
The movie is available for FREE on YouTube thanks to the Russian media company MosFilm.
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2. It's like if Stanley Kubrick directed "The Wizard of Oz." Head's up: the movie is long. It clocks in at 163 minutes. But just like the best work from the mind behind "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "The Shining," the film is a methodical and foreboding piece of storytelling filled with enough tracking shots, for a budding film student to rip off.
And like "Wizard" the movie has a lot of fun, tripping out audiences with a mono-chromatic real world and a colorful, mind-bending depiction of the Zone.
3. You can afford to read a movie with subtitles. Your only cinematic options for the weekend are the box-office-disaster in the making "John Carter" or Adam Sandler's crime against intelligence "Jack and Jill" (which just arrived on DVD). For your own dignity's sake, take a chance on a movie that actually assumes you're smart enough to keep up with it.
And even if you get lost at any point, you'll be watching it with countless other Internet viewers who will be more than willing to help recap any moment.
4. This movie has inspired A LOT of cool movies you have seen. This award-winning film from the Cannes Film Festival has gone on to inspire works like "Akira," "Ghost in the Shell" and director Tarsem Singh (maker of "The Fall," "The Cell" and "Immortals.")
Ingmar Bergman called Tarkovsky the greatest filmmaker ever. And Bergman himself has been called the greatest filmmaker ever by such luminaries as Woody Allen. He's the guy that the greats consider to be great.
5. Life imitated art. After the Chernobyl disaster, the emergency workers tasked with maintaining the fallout zone started to call themselves "stalkers." In Russian culture, the film has taken on an eerie reputation as predicting the nuclear tragedy, and then went on to inspire the Chernobyl-based video-game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
6. Seriously, it's FREE.