Saturday, April 28, 2012

zona | stalker

Zona, by Geoff Dyer (Pantheon). In Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 film "Zona" (better known in English as "Stalker"), an outlaw-cum-shaman known as Stalker escorts two men, named Writer and Professor, through an uncanny, Chernobyl-like Aone in order to reach The Room, where innermost wishes are supposedly granted. Dyer's characteristic blend of fitful but astute scholarship, witty irreverence, and autobiographical digression (in footnotes that creep up the page) is here devoted to "summarizing the action of a film almost devoid of action." Cavorting from Wordsworth to "Where Eagles Dare," Dyer enacts in his light-footed prose what he considers to be "the most distinctive feature of Tarkovsky's art: the sense of beauty as force." Long asides on his own as yet unfulfilled wishes (for a threesome, for more literary accolades) will perhaps test the indulgence of even loyal fans."

The New Yorker, April 30, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Missed this when it played the Fifth Avenue last week. Hoping it comes back to International Village.

"Joseph is an unemployed widower with a drinking problem, a man crippled by his own volatile temperament and furious anger. Hannah is a Christian charity shop worker, a respectable woman who seems wholesome and happy...."

Premiered at the 2011 Sundance International Film Festival, winning the World Cinema award for Directing, and Special Jury Prizes for the breakout performances of Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman.
"This film begins with one of the most viciously gut wrenching 'scar openers' in recent memory. Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a man beset with a furious temper and upon leaving the bookies in an apparent fit of blind rage, he delivers a brutal and what turns out to be fatal, kick to the ribs of his own poor barking dog. It's a brave directorial decision for Considine, risking the alienation of the audience to introduce his main character in this manner, revealing him as a nasty and violent drunkard who deserves no sympathy. From there, this devastating film doesn't ever really become anything close to an easy watch, but it remains an immensely captivating one..." Bonjour Tristesse
...thanks for the tip, Steph