dir: Andrei Tarkovsky
As a self-appointed film wanker, one who’s studied some elements of film history and criticism of the art form, but who hasn’t earned any formal qualifications or work experience in the field or any real credible basis for one’s pretentions, it’s often hard for me to justify my own status. Sure, I think I’ve got something relevant/amusing to say about films, mostly only because I love ‘em, and when you love something, whether it’s individual films or films in general, you might, like I do, feel like that gives you licence to inflict your opinions upon the rest of the world.
The hardest thing for me to justify is not my lack of knowledge of the kinds of things that send professional film critic and theory types into paroxysmic orgasms, but the fact that quite often I just can’t muster any appreciation of them.
In other words, yeah, so I’ve seen Citizen Kane a few times, but, honestly, put that Rosebud shit to bed, it’s had its day already.
Long intro: short point. I’ll acknowledge that I know who the Russian directorial ‘master’ Andrei Tarkovsky is, and what his films are, and that he was a master of crafting what he and many other film wankers consider some of the finest films known to man. But for the fucking life of me it doesn’t translate into my being able to enjoy watching most of his flicks.
Stalker was the last of the films in a Tarkovsky collection I bought a few years ago, last chronologically in the set as well as the last I finished watching. It’s taken me no less than about a dozen tries to get through the goddamn flick. My biggest problem is that, just as with his other alleged masterpiece, Solaris, watching any of the sequences in this flick, especially any time when the camera slowly zooms in on nothing happening, or when it painstakingly, agonisingly pans from left to right or back again, it knocks me the fuck out. I don’t mean it makes me feel a tad sleepy, I mean it knocks me out like a handful of Ambien. Day or night, ragged or rested, certain of his flicks put me into a narcotised state from which it’s not safe for me to operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery for a day afterwards. Even using the phone is not a good idea. You’ll be slurring like you’ve been drinking cough syrup all day.