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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Should we even have a recommended first watch for Tarkovsky?


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:35 pm 
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i say stalker, i would say ivan's childhood but I'm not sure if that's too offbase to lead off in to the other movies since ivan's is the most accessible


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Yeah Stalker I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:10 pm 
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gonna watch it tomorrow :biggrin:


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:40 am 
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Dreww wrote:
Just found the best ever review of Stalker:


novahead wrote:
A self-loathing hipster, guilt ridden scienstician and paranoid gypsy skulk around throwing a nut or bolt or whatever into a lush overgrown urban ruin declaring their cryptic ethics to no one in particular while they retrieve it. The cameraman wanders away from them whenever possible.

5 stars.
that's awesome, particularly the last bit



Pat C wrote:
George wrote:
so what was/were the central themes of the movie for you, mr carney?

you called me mister :surprised:
what? would you like me to call you lord carney? anyway, forgive my late response.

Quote:
simple answer: desire, happiness, meaning, self-knowledge

i am about to watch it again. i am intrigued. really it was like a thick, stimulating piece of prose--not in the sense that it is too stylistically complex and wrought with self-indulgences; i guess i am comparing its thematic complexity to say, syntactical complexity, if that makes any sense--that requires more than one reading/viewing to really comprehend and admire on a subsurface level. basically, it was hard for me to take it all in during that viewing, but i think that's expected.

i have a lot of stray thoughts floating around but i am not sure how to organize them yet. they are anything but linear at the moment. tying them all together into a coherent analysis is beyond me at the moment.

george, what are the themes for you? i think a brief response from you might be a good reference point to start at.
mebbe. but, just like for you, it would be difficult for me to concentrate on one particular theme. the movie has been simmering and brewing and lingering in my mind since i saw it first three years ago, and i feel its presence and its effect just as much as i did then, maybe more... it applies to a lot of things in life, actually to most things, if you approach it philosophically, more than any other movie i've seen.
well, how about i take your "simple answers" and just extrapolate on it a little bit...

desire.... do you mean general ambition? or the way it is used in the movie, the one single great thing you're living for, whatever it is... does such thing exist, anyway? what do you think?
"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened." (Albert Camus)

happiness.... this must be tied in with desire, right? or doesn't it? do you think happiness is an achievement or a process or an attitude? because, if we take the movie's premise, that one granted wish would result in happiness, which would mean it's an achievement... do you agree?
here's a real life account from krzysztof zanussi, related to this... "Hearing what Tarkovsky was saying about art, an artist's calling, man's purpose, a young man saw him as a guru (the need for gurus in America is very great) and inquired simple-heartedly: "Mr. Tarkovsky, what must I do to be happy?" This was quite an ordinary question by American standards, but for Andrei it was simply shocking. He interrupted the conversation and asked: "What does the man want? Why does he ask such foolish questions?" I tried to explain to Andrei that he was being too harsh to the boy, that he shouldn't be angry but should advise him. Andrei said: "How can I advise him? Doesn't he know what he's living for?" I said: "Imagine that he really doesn't know what he's living for and tell him something that is obvious to you." But Andrei shrugged his shoulders and said: "Let him ponder over what he has been called from non existence for, wherefore he exists, let him divine the role assigned to him in the cosmos, let him fulfill that role, and as to happiness it might come or not come." It was all quite clear to me, but it took the young man maybe ten minutes to recover from the shock, because the words he heard from Andrei were totally incomprehensible to him. It was difficult for him to understand, for example, the basic fact that existence in general could be a problem, i.e. that it did not go without saying, that a person should ponder over the meaning of his existence, that existence imposed an obligation on a person - for the pragmatic American mind these things were incomprehensible."

meaning.... of life/existence? well, where do you think one has to search for it? do you think the zone is a good place to do it? why (not)? those three weirdos think it might be...
actually, in our discussions, quinn remarked that the zone represents life, which is certainly true, and we talk more about that if you want.
but, on a less metaphorical level, it is also simply a place to get away from society, from norms, from laws, privileges, habits, inhibitions... to stop thinking about earning money and forget about familial and all other obligations... just so one remove himself from all these endless cycles, slow down and contemplate/reevaluate life... his life and existence in general.

here's an excerpt from tarkovsky's diary entry from 1977... i know it may seem strange without context, but i purposely omitted it:

"Man doesn't need society at all, it's society that needs him. Society is just our name for a tool for our self-preservation. Man, as opposed to herd animals, should live by himself, amidst nature, animals, plants - in contrast with them."

it's the last phrase that caught my attention... because while i agree with his sentiment and have for about a decade now, i've never managed to formulate it that way... in contrast... because we do live in contrast (can't help but), but with contrast to society/culture and in contrast with other people (absolutely nothing wrong with that in itself, except most urban deweller to that exclusively and thus live a life out of balance), and it is our conformity to its norms, rules and laws that generally determines our success within in... in that sense, we're acting like herd animals... whereas if we lived a more solitary life, "in contrast with animals, plants, [etc.]", our interactions with the world would be extremely different, as would be our opinions of ourselves, and of other people...
so, perhaps, if anything, that excursion into the zone just gave the men a chance to contemplate, to look at life from a different perspective, to reevaluate things... and that act, or rather process, while it may or may not necessarily make them "happier" or more satisfied or content with life, it will at least provide them with a new, more balanced, perhaps more healthy approach to things (and that will also make the society they live in better, as well).

finally, self-knowledge... is it not desires/happiness/meaning rolled into one?
or is there a duality here between knowledge of self ("subjective") and a more objective truth somewhere out there?


PS: this is an interesting wave of kind, where several people at once are watching stalker... quinn and you have just finished watching it, drew has just rewatched it (i think), and pave and raul (and maybe led) are about to watch it... maybe other will, too.
i noticed it happens with some of my friends, particularly close ones, where independently we go through similar phases... it was never more pronounced when mrguitar and i were close friends, and our paths coincided to a degree where i just know it definitely was not a coincidence. but this is different. so maybe the mechanism is different, if there is one. but, in any case, it's a really interesting occurence and i'm really glad more people are discovering stalker/tarkovsky.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:46 am 
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1. Andrei Rublev = 10
2. Stalker = 9

You know, I probably should watch a couple more of his movies some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:27 am 
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lord carney would be nice. or baron.

no penalty for late response after a response like that. allow me to gather myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:53 pm 
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i did not get around to finishing it the second time--i watched disc one, got busy, haven't gotten around to disc 2 yet, which is currently sitting in my mac's disc drive--but i'll put my two cents in anyways. i'll probably have a few more organized, substantive thoughts once i see it in it's entirety again....

George wrote:
mebbe. but, just like for you, it would be difficult for me to concentrate on one particular theme. the movie has been simmering and brewing and lingering in my mind since i saw it first three years ago, and i feel its presence and its effect just as much as i did then, maybe more... it applies to a lot of things in life, actually to most things, if you approach it philosophically, more than any other movie i've seen.
well, how about i take your "simple answers" and just extrapolate on it a little bit...

desire.... do you mean general ambition? or the way it is used in the movie, the one single great thing you're living for, whatever it is... does such thing exist, anyway? what do you think?
"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened." (Albert Camus)


general ambition.... if you are meaning a goal with a defined beginning and end point, like an aspiration to be a doctor, or to acquire wealth, or a fulfilling monogamy, or any point you could reach, and lay back and think, "well i did it," then no, i don't believe so. though i am a little confused by your terminology. can't an ambition be the single great thing you're living for as it is, the way it is "used in the movie"? but if that faux endpoint, where you think you have fulfilled your desire, through 'general ambition' is what you mean by general ambition, then that is definitely not what i mean by desire. that cannot be the single greatest thing we live for, even if we think it is on a conscious level.

the most central desire we all have that consumes all of us is the desire to be happy. and in a way that is the singular desire we all want. any tangible goal will never be enough. the phd in medicine? the wedding ring? the bank account? okay, then what? what's next? the rest of your life... you don't die the moment you reach that point you've been striving towards. what's next is you keep living, doing the same stuff everyday, and if the progeny of that single ambition you reached does not keep you motivated and happy, then it is not your deepest desire! your deepest desire remains to be discovered... but this is all just a roundabout way of naming contentment as the ultimate desire. (on a side note, i use contentment and and happiness synonymously here, though i know they aren't synonyms. happiness is the product of contentment i think.... you feel good with what is present, then you are happy).

i don't see 'being happy' as an emotional state really. it's just whatever frame of mind we strive towards to get us through the day... if we are content with feeling like shit then that makes us happy. it is just the presence of contentment and satisfaction.

Quote:
happiness.... this must be tied in with desire, right? or doesn't it? do you think happiness is an achievement or a process or an attitude? because, if we take the movie's premise, that one granted wish would result in happiness, which would mean it's an achievement... do you agree?
here's a real life account from krzysztof zanussi, related to this... "Hearing what Tarkovsky was saying about art, an artist's calling, man's purpose, a young man saw him as a guru (the need for gurus in America is very great) and inquired simple-heartedly: "Mr. Tarkovsky, what must I do to be happy?" This was quite an ordinary question by American standards, but for Andrei it was simply shocking. He interrupted the conversation and asked: "What does the man want? Why does he ask such foolish questions?" I tried to explain to Andrei that he was being too harsh to the boy, that he shouldn't be angry but should advise him. Andrei said: "How can I advise him? Doesn't he know what he's living for?" I said: "Imagine that he really doesn't know what he's living for and tell him something that is obvious to you." But Andrei shrugged his shoulders and said: "Let him ponder over what he has been called from non existence for, wherefore he exists, let him divine the role assigned to him in the cosmos, let him fulfill that role, and as to happiness it might come or not come." It was all quite clear to me, but it took the young man maybe ten minutes to recover from the shock, because the words he heard from Andrei were totally incomprehensible to him. It was difficult for him to understand, for example, the basic fact that existence in general could be a problem, i.e. that it did not go without saying, that a person should ponder over the meaning of his existence, that existence imposed an obligation on a person - for the pragmatic American mind these things were incomprehensible."


happiness is both! it depends on how you define achieved as well. if an achievement is a one time moment of satisfaction then that cannot be happiness though. if it is ongoing, then yes it can be. happiness is a continuous state.

that account is pretty much what i've been thinking. "the pragmatic american mind" sealed it, ie, get to this point, this concrete point, and you shall be a happy person. fulfillment=accomplishment, yaay! and thus, ridding the american mind of a burden to divine their own meaning, non-superficial and transcendent of anything physical, which brings nothing but a fickle "happiness" of sorts.

Quote:
meaning.... of life/existence? well, where do you think one has to search for it? do you think the zone is a good place to do it? why (not)? those three weirdos think it might be...
actually, in our discussions, quinn remarked that the zone represents life, which is certainly true, and we talk more about that if you want.
but, on a less metaphorical level, it is also simply a place to get away from society, from norms, from laws, privileges, habits, inhibitions... to stop thinking about earning money and forget about familial and all other obligations... just so one remove himself from all these endless cycles, slow down and contemplate/reevaluate life... his life and existence in general.


life and existence, yes. within oneself, for most.

okay, my first viewing gave me the impression that the zone granted the innermost desire of whoever reached it. for porcupine this was wealth. but it seemed to imply that not all innermost desires are so shallow, which makes one's trip into the zone pretty perilous, depending on how in touch you are with yourself, hence where self-knowledge comes yes?

the back of my dvd case says tark provides no definitive answer to the questions it raises. this seems about right... your question: is the zone a good place for this? well i don't know. it is and it isn't. for porcupine it was... for a week.. then he realized he had nothing else to live for. such a 'pragmatic' desire must leave one empty. but not all have those desires... some deep down will want just to happy, surely? for those, for whom happiness is no achievement, but a continuous state of contentment, the zone does seem like a good place to venture to.

it's almost like the guy who asks the genie for a million dollars will get bored and become disillusioned by his wealth. the guy who asks the genie for a million wishes is the one who has a less pragmatic idea of happiness. with all of his wishes he asks for nothing too extravagant either. he asks for the small day to day pleasures that keep him moving and ticking, with some variety and surprise here and there; all of the little things, like hot coffee, a soft bed, a crossword puzzle, a good book... whatever.... for the rest of his life (because life is not a one stop train!) does that not sound much more fulfilling than a million bucks, one time and one time only?

--i feel like i'm repeating myself a lot, but i am trying to be thorough--

in that way tark does not provide an answer. your question is a trick one methinks--the zone may be beneficial, or may not be. basically, writer and professor both look for a means to an end from the zone while stalker is content with only making trips to the zone without ever going in, because he is afraid of what he will get. if he's happy with it, then he already has it. why mess it up?

the zone is like a test i'd say. if you're afraid of going in and messing shit up, like porcupine, then chances are you're already content with what you have, which is the ultimate allure of the zone anyways. if you get there and think shit i need to go in, then maybe you do need to reevaluate your life anyways. so i feel you.


Quote:
here's an excerpt from tarkovsky's diary entry from 1977... i know it may seem strange without context, but i purposely omitted it:

"Man doesn't need society at all, it's society that needs him. Society is just our name for a tool for our self-preservation. Man, as opposed to herd animals, should live by himself, amidst nature, animals, plants - in contrast with them."

it's the last phrase that caught my attention... because while i agree with his sentiment and have for about a decade now, i've never managed to formulate it that way... in contrast... because we do live in contrast (can't help but), but with contrast to society/culture and in contrast with other people (absolutely nothing wrong with that in itself, except most urban deweller to that exclusively and thus live a life out of balance), and it is our conformity to its norms, rules and laws that generally determines our success within in... in that sense, we're acting like herd animals... whereas if we lived a more solitary life, "in contrast with animals, plants, [etc.]", our interactions with the world would be extremely different, as would be our opinions of ourselves, and of other people...
so, perhaps, if anything, that excursion into the zone just gave the men a chance to contemplate, to look at life from a different perspective, to reevaluate things... and that act, or rather process, while it may or may not necessarily make them "happier" or more satisfied or content with life, it will at least provide them with a new, more balanced, perhaps more healthy approach to things (and that will also make the society they live in better, as well).

finally, self-knowledge... is it not desires/happiness/meaning rolled into one?
or is there a duality here between knowledge of self ("subjective") and a more objective truth somewhere out there?
this exercise has been illuminating and tiring. excuse a short response here. i think i've touched upon everything i wanted to get to already. self-knowledge does seem such, to an extent. i have trouble with this duality a lot. i feel obligated to compromise with society, a more objective, pragmatic concept and initiative of happiness. doing so takes a huge load off... relieved of burden, of self-meaning, self-discovery. limit myself to a collective happiness that functions within a system, ie, i need society and not vice versa. it is a tempting fate. keeping an equilibrium between staying far enough away from that, and enduring the pains of a lonely, but more rewarding self-oriented conception of desire/happiness/meaning is the ideal state, imo. walking a tightrope sometimes. because on one hand you can't be so gone and lost in a generalized happiness because you lose all concept of self; you become the sightless pragmatic american, but a happiness that is entirely self sounds really fucking lonely and isolating. so again, compromise!

now i'm interested in what you think about a lot of this george.


Quote:
PS: this is an interesting wave of kind, where several people at once are watching stalker... quinn and you have just finished watching it, drew has just rewatched it (i think), and pave and raul (and maybe led) are about to watch it... maybe other will, too.
i noticed it happens with some of my friends, particularly close ones, where independently we go through similar phases... it was never more pronounced when mrguitar and i were close friends, and our paths coincided to a degree where i just know it definitely was not a coincidence. but this is different. so maybe the mechanism is different, if there is one. but, in any case, it's a really interesting occurence and i'm really glad more people are discovering stalker/tarkovsky.


thanks for the time and response. it was a strong catalyst and helped me organize and work through a lot of my incoherent, floating thoughts. :irish:


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:19 am 
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Pat C wrote:
the most central desire we all have that consumes all of us is the desire to be happy. and in a way that is the singular desire we all want.
i think you are right, especially if you equate happiness with contentment... however isn't that just another way of saying "avoiding pain and seeking pleasure"? in other words, we are no different from any other animals or plants or microbes, in that sense. but, i think one of the themes in tarkovsky's movies is the attempt to transcend or overcome this, to realize our potential, through this thing we call spirituality... we're still striving for a kind of contentment but not on an individual level but a more universal one.... some might say that's projecting your own ambitions/morals/etc onto the rest of the world... others believe there is a universal unconscious and certain something that binds us into one whole thing

Quote:
if the progeny of that single ambition you reached does not keep you motivated and happy, then it is not your deepest desire! your deepest desire remains to be discovered...
hey that's a cool way of thinking about it!
or how about the reverse - the self-denying, perhaps "eastern", approach - that once you reach a goal that allows you to dissolve your ego and end your desires, ambitions, and so forth, you reach nirvana, the state of complete contentment and oneness with the absolute.

Quote:
i don't see 'being happy' as an emotional state really. it's just whatever frame of mind we strive towards to get us through the day... if we are content with feeling like shit then that makes us happy. it is just the presence of contentment and satisfaction.
aye... schopenhauer called it the blind will!



Quote:
okay, my first viewing gave me the impression that the [room] granted the innermost desire of whoever reached it. for porcupine this was wealth. but it seemed to imply that not all innermost desires are so shallow, which makes one's trip into the zone pretty perilous, depending on how in touch you are with yourself, hence where self-knowledge comes yes?
yes!!!!


Quote:
in that way tark does not provide an answer. your question is a trick one methinks--the zone may be beneficial, or may not be. basically, writer and professor both look for a means to an end from the zone while stalker is content with only making trips to the zone without ever going in, because he is afraid of what he will get. if he's happy with it, then he already has it. why mess it up?
i agree on the first part, but not the second.... i don't think stalker is afraid; like you said, he's happy just being there, it's his life, remember the first thing he did when reaching the zone was simply lying down in grass by himself, "a date with the zone" as professor (i think) called it. whereas the writer and professor used the zone as a means to an end, for stalker the zone is the end. at least that's the way i see it.


Quote:
the zone is like a test i'd say. if you're afraid of going in and messing shit up, like porcupine, then chances are you're already content with what you have, which is the ultimate allure of the zone anyways. if you get there and think shit i need to go in, then maybe you do need to reevaluate your life anyways. so i feel you.
this is great, i don't think i've read anyone else with this approach/interpretation before... :thumb:


Quote:
now i'm interested in what you think about a lot of this george.
actually i'm thinking along the same lines as you... everything needs balance.
for example, i'm more introverted than most people and am very content being alone (actually if i'm not alone ~70-80% of the time i don't feel right), but still those 20-30% of social life are extremely important and rewarding for me. so, i don't advocate completely removing oneself from society and becoming a hermit, but i do advocate more interaction with the non-human world, which i believe is the way to balance out most of the issues modern civilization is troubled with.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:51 am 
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I'm posting George and I's recent discussion. Some people might enjoy it and I don't think it should go to waste.

EDIT: Goddamnit, I can't grab it from the old forum. I think I saved it onto a document, thankfully. I started the conversation. Apologies for not having it formatted properly.

Quote:
The Zone is one of the most visually beautiful places I have ever seen. It almost seems like a metaphor to life; those who do not treat it with care and veneration are met with hostility. It is a sentient and enigmatic landscape. I feel that it is comparable to Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (though, perhaps only superficially), in the sense that the further travelled into the surroundings the further descended into hallucinogenic madness. I am unsure of the techniques employed by Tarkovsky, but I am amazed at how aesthetically distinctive he makes the film. The pacing is slow, but it is far from dull. The long shots perfectly capture the atmosphere of the neighbouring environment. Do the scenes shot in black and white represent hope, or rather, lack thereof? Also, is the contrasting of colour an metaphor of faith and despair?

The Writer and Scientist never enter the room because they are unaware of their unconscious desires and do not want the potential realization that their life has no meaning. I think that the room symbolizes people’s doubts in themselves; uncertain of what they truly want to extract from life. By ignoring their yearning to enter the room, Writer and Professor overcome one of humanity’s greatest weaknesses and discover a freedom previously unfamiliar. What is regarded by many as a miracle is, in actuality, quite the opposite. It does not provide hope or happiness to those who lack both, because those who lack both are only concerned with fulfilling vain and materialistic desires. A person might gain innumerable wealth, but they will still be left with a sense of dissatisfaction. By the end of the film, the characters’ undergo a spiritual healing; a healing so that they might find salvation and acquire a stronger faith in a belief that cannot be taken away. Stalker is the only one suited for The Zone, as his hope revolves around love and is prepared to sacrifice everything so that he may find it. It is far from being *just* an intellectual film, it’s also both emotionally and spiritually impacting. Stalker’s cries about the lack of hope possessed by the rest of the world were near tear inducing.

I know that this isn’t correct, but it seems as if the referral to the characters by their professions conveys who they are as people and how it dictates their every move. I don’t understand the ending, especially the daughter performing psychokinetics. I know that it is caused by The Zone’s radioactivity, but I don’t know its meaning.

I've missed quite a few other thoughts, but I think that it's one of the best films I've ever seen.




Quote:
The Zone is one of the most visually beautiful places I have ever seen. It almost seems like a metaphor to life; those who do not treat it with care and veneration are met with hostility. It is a sentient and enigmatic landscape.

your take on the zone is the same tarkovsky's - he thought of it simply as life... and as for your next thought, yes it looks like that may be the case (though philosophically it's not as simple as that, i can elaborate more if you want)... and as for your third thought, i think it's more befitting of bergman... for tarkovsky, there may be enigma, yes, but he was a pantheist and a spiritualist, in that he believed everything was alive in a way, and that everything was communicating with you, if only you listen in...


Quote:
Do the scenes shot in black and white represent hope, or rather, lack thereof? Also, is the contrasting of colour a metaphor of faith and despair?

if you say it does.... there is no right or wrong answer... i think every time i watch it, i interpret it a bit differently.... but usually the idea is somewhere along your lines, the colored sections represent stalker's excitement (he feels like he has a purpose in those scenes/environments, perhaps he is even joyful inside) while the sepia sections coincide with places he'd rather escape... notice he'd rather not be with his family in the beginning (probably been fighting with his wife a lot leading up to that), but their reunion at the end is mostly in color, he is glad to see them, to be home, only they can soothe his aching heart... that's just one take, there can be as many interpretations as there are conscious viewers...

Quote:
The Writer and Scientist never enter the room because they are unaware of their unconscious desires and do not want to potential realization that their life has no meaning.

i've never thought of it that way, but perhaps you're right... certainly in the writer's case, there is a lot of insecurity, but indeed we get a glimpse into the scientist's anxieties too (particularly his phone call is very revealing)
i usually think of it in the sense that they're growing more and more aware of their thoughts (their real thoughts, not the "friction between the soul and the outside world") and also of the power of the room... and perhaps they become afraid that either they'll end up like porcupine (misuse the room and be punished by it) or destroy the world (with their greed and lust for power)

Quote:
I know that this isn’t correct, but it seems as if the referral to the characters by their professions conveys who they are as people and how it dictates their every move. I don’t understand the ending, especially the daughter performing psychokinetics. I know that it is caused by The Zone’s radioactivity, but I don’t know its meaning.


about your first point: yes, but also no.... yes they are supposed to be archetypes and representative of people of a certain mindset... no because it doesn't dictate their every move - the artist here (writer) is often to most logical and incisive while the empiricist (professor) is superstitious... so they're archetypal characters but by no means are they stereotypical or lack individuality.
and as for your second question, i thought about it for a long time, myself... perhaps one interpretation is that she is example of hopeful and believing person that her father believes have all died out... (maybe she is like that because she's his daughter? maybe she's like that independently of him?)
after all, one of the major themes throughout all tarkovsky's films is decrying the loss of religiosity and of spirituality (think of when he was making his movies - 60s, 70s, and 80s soviet union and later europe - communist/atheist ussr and the consumerist west)


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:25 pm 
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George wrote:
i think you are right, especially if you equate happiness with contentment... however isn't that just another way of saying "avoiding pain and seeking pleasure"? in other words, we are no different from any other animals or plants or microbes, in that sense. but, i think one of the themes in tarkovsky's movies is the attempt to transcend or overcome this, to realize our potential, through this thing we call spirituality... we're still striving for a kind of contentment but not on an individual level but a more universal one.... some might say that's projecting your own ambitions/morals/etc onto the rest of the world... others believe there is a universal unconscious and certain something that binds us into one whole thing


yes. how you label stuff really is a doozy. is something the absence of nothing or vice versa ehh? or there is just a natural duality between pain and pleasure; the words are interchangeable really. (which really makes me think about the first conversation between writer and professor, who i think said that labels eradicate the labeled of meaning. he means of course that a name or label has a tailored definition and an inherently limited capacity for growth. with a name, the labeled inevitably conforms to its label, and never evolves, ergo, no meaning, or, the labeled rebels and evolves yet, rendering the label itself meaningless.)--that is a very existential way of looking at it. one reason camus denied that he ever was an atheist or existentialist methinks; that would be counter to what the philosophy is all about! (also funny that you quoted him.)

but now that i think about it, that conversation has a larger bearing on the rest of the movie's commentary on its central themes, like on the duality i was just talking about, the meaninglessness of labeling pain and pleasure, seeking happiness, avoiding pain. eliminate the labels pain and happiness, and you have a natural struggle between good and bad (more labels, hah!), in its barest of forms. hence, your point, that we really are no different from other organisms, and in some ways we are less rational and attuned to pain and happiness than other organisms. this goes beyond a social/individual comparison but into an every-other-organism/human comparison. we are so "pragmatic" and concerned with an overall, some times life long, objective, that we tune out all other micro instances of pain and happiness, like the small things, like coffee, crosswords, etc (what i was saying in my other post), in favor of a focus absurdly large in scope, while the rest of the conscious world lives on not even on a day to day basis, but a moment to moment one, without our advanced means of self-preservation, which allow us to have such ambitious, but unnatural, and pragmatic ideas of happiness. aha.

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hey that's a cool way of thinking about it!
or how about the reverse - the self-denying, perhaps "eastern", approach - that once you reach a goal that allows you to dissolve your ego and end your desires, ambitions, and so forth, you reach nirvana, the state of complete contentment and oneness with the absolute.


i always struggled with this idea. do i really want that? just doesn't seem fun in my opinion. i have to be human (ie, pragmatic and shallow and material) at least a little bit. though, someday, i am going to explore these schools of thought more deeply. i have a good friend, who i respect immensely, who is a buddhist. the dude is wise and happy.


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in that way tark does not provide an answer. your question is a trick one methinks--the zone may be beneficial, or may not be. basically, writer and professor both look for a means to an end from the zone while stalker is content with only making trips to the zone without ever going in, because he is afraid of what he will get. if he's happy with it, then he already has it. why mess it up?
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i agree on the first part, but not the second.... i don't think stalker is afraid; like you said, he's happy just being there, it's his life, remember the first thing he did when reaching the zone was simply lying down in grass by himself, "a date with the zone" as professor (i think) called it. whereas the writer and professor used the zone as a means to an end, for stalker the zone is the end. at least that's the way i see it.


afraid may have been a poor word choice. how about uninterested? not afraid of what he might get, but uninterested, or perhaps he already knows, so it will have no effect on him?

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the zone is like a test i'd say. if you're afraid of going in and messing shit up, like porcupine, then chances are you're already content with what you have, which is the ultimate allure of the zone anyways. if you get there and think shit i need to go in, then maybe you do need to reevaluate your life anyways. so i feel you.
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this is great, i don't think i've read anyone else with this approach/interpretation before... :thumb:


thanks! it really is interesting how tark uses the zone as a thought experiment. it reminds me of einstein's: even though i can't make X happen, what if it did, and if X did happen, (or in this case, was realistic), then how would it effect Y? how such a simple figurative tool can create such a reevaluation of life is brilliant.

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actually i'm thinking along the same lines as you... everything needs balance.
for example, i'm more introverted than most people and am very content being alone (actually if i'm not alone ~70-80% of the time i don't feel right), but still those 20-30% of social life are extremely important and rewarding for me. so, i don't advocate completely removing oneself from society and becoming a hermit, but i do advocate more interaction with the non-human world, which i believe is the way to balance out most of the issues modern civilization is troubled with.


i'm the same way. i moved into a house with three good friends, all more extroverted than me. i think they think i'm crazy for avoiding interaction so often, but it's just how i have to function to be happy. i need my downtime. the hard part is accepting that that is who i am, because with a slew of outgoing friends, one can be tempted to change, and even guilted by their impairing introversion.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:34 pm 
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hey quinn, who is who? are you quoted or is george? i'm having trouble telling hah.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:48 pm 
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Location: Just a humble motherfucker with a big ass dick.
:lol:

I'm quoted and George isn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:59 pm 
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that is what messed me up


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 Post subject: Re: Andrei Tarkovsky
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:20 pm 
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As a first watch, Solaris has the advantages of a brisk pace (for Tark) and an accessible setting. I'd say it's a much smoother entry point than Stalker, which could easily overwhelm the uninitiated.


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