On Tuesday I went to see Andrei Tarkovsky's newly restored film "Stalker" at the IFC Center. i'm kind of convinced that "4k restoration" is the official buzzword of the year, but that's another story.
anyways, I'd heard about it a little at the film society because people were talking about it a fair amount. Then I saw that alamo drafthouse was also screening it, along with IFC, and I felt i should see it. Hoooly shit.
although it was made in 1979, the film starts out in sepia, and is shot in 4:3, so you get the feeling that it is an older film, with less technology used. but in reality it's a highly technical film and every frame - seriously, every frame - is more beautiful that most films i've seen ever. I was in awe the entire time. it was like an eye massage.
It also finally brought me to a style of film that i've ben resistant to for so long - the superlong film. At 2 and a half hours, that's not even super long, but it's longer than I usually like to see. Usually when I see a 2.5 hour long film, it's a martin scorcese film, and I think all of those can be cut down. But Scorcese films are that long because of excessive plot aspects, while Stalker was this long because Tarkovsky is actually playing with time in a way that mentally invites us to be in the same headspace as the characters. I feel like holding on shots like that has always been a ~concept~ but i've never had it work for me. It was rhythmatic and poetic and quite long and my eyes were glued to the screen the whole time.
While watching it i was thinking about how in 1979 America was in the ~new hollywood~ stage with loud stories and flashy statements. And how much better this is than all of that. I couldn't imagine even comparing any of those films to this one. This was so much more realized, and so much more meaningful.
Anyways, now i'm going to be watching all of his films and i've already ordered some of his books online. it's kind of funny that the moment I graduate from film school, i come across this, which seems to be already teaching me more about filmmaking than most material shown to me in my classes. But, i guess that means I'm continuing to learn, which is all i can really ask for.