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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Morning at Stalker's House Part 2: The confrontation!

The next scene is already disorienting. Stalker walks off right to the kitchen, but then it seems like he walked straight into the kitchen from the bedroom. He keeps looking back to see if his wife is awake, so he must be able to see through the bedroom doors, so he must be looking right into it. And, as usual, he also seems like he keeps looking back at us! I love all the sounds in here: the sound of the dishes, the water faucet handle being turned, and the lighting of the gas burner. I like the fact that Stalker brushes his teeth. I think it's an interesting detail. More movies should have this. Ut oh, it looks like the wife's up! She announces her presence by turning on the overhead light, which subsequently flares up and then burns out. If you pause the DVD just at the moment the light flares up the brightest, you get to see everything in the kitchen you couldn’t see before. Look around, it's interesting. Once again, it seems like the wife is yelling right at us! She is mad at Stalker because he's going out again and it appears that he's recently been in jail awhile but is now out and his daughter is getting used to him again, so the wife is afraid of this repeating itself. I think it's interesting that Stalker brushes his teeth and then eats. Kind of backwards. By the way I’m not going to write down every complete conversation in the movie. I'm just summarizing them so that when you watch the movie there will be all kinds of dialog you haven’t heard before and this will keep things interesting.

Now comes a classic shot of two conflicted characters each facing a different direction as they argue. Almost all the scenes in this movie have the main characters dead center on the screen. Usually it's all three of them, like a trinity. When the wife tells Stalker he has been promised normal HUMAN work, what is she implying? Is he NOT human? Is he from another planet? Don't let this scene fool you. Stalker's wife loves him, and we learn later on that she's his anchor, in my opinion. See Stalker's patch of white hair? There are a few other Tarkovsky movies in which the main character has a white patch in his hair. Interesting. Ah, here we have the first reference to the Zone! What is it? Is it real? Is it all in your head, or a symbol of something else? Or maybe it just is what it is. Okay, here's one of my favorite scenes already! When Stalker says "Oh God, for me it's prison everywhere!" he breaks away from his wife’s grip and walks to the bedroom and grabs his coat. When he walks in, you see the little girl, Monkey, still sleeping. When he walks back out, look, she's sitting bolt upright in bed. It's a very eerie moment and takes place in a split second! After Stalker leaves, his wife throws herself down on the floor and begins writhing as if possessed, then we hear a train on tracks, some music, and then what sounds like fighter aircraft flying around. This last scene is linked to the next one. We can hear the train that Stalker passes by while the wife is on the floor, and we can hear the faint sound of the airplanes as Stalker walks across the tracks.

Next post tomorrow : The Writer and...I'm sorry. What was your name again?

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