Bryson Edward Howe’s review published on Letterboxd:
“The purpose of art is to help man improve himself spiritually. To rise above himself by using his own free will.”
Tarkovsky's thoughtfully reflective exploration into meaning, art and life — Stalker seems to stand in protest of other science-fiction films of the time. It's imagery and sound (and the often juxtaposition of these elements) somehow evokes the complex and indecipherable range of emotions felt in day-to-day life: the love and loneliness and depression and undeniable adrenaline; things almost impossible to explain in words or apply reason to, but he finds a way through the craft cinema and art to define them. Poring over microscopic details, finding and exploiting the heart and focus of every frame, extracting and isolating the value of each moment… isolating the sound of a dripping tap or the crackle of a fire, Tarkovsky was obsessed with creating this metaphorical, almost-cosmic reality, filling the frames with texture in both image and sound, making his audience feel what they were seeing was real and relevant.
He would tap into our emotional state, pumping the film’s veins with emotion and meaning so even while watching something so incredibly heightened, we knew at the core there was something very real and powerful; something bubbling just beneath the surface. That’s what allowed his audiences to sit there through every burning, unbroken take as we watched this sensitive man take our hand on his journey, following along with his musings as he searched to find the soul and purpose of his own life.
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