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Stalker (1979), introduced by Ben Hopkins

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Language: Russian
Translation: English subtitles
Running time: 2h 43m

A screening of a the 1979 Soviet science fiction film Stalker (directed by Andrei Tarkovsky) introduced by director and screenwriter Ben Hopkins. The film tells the story of an expedition led by a figure known as the ‘Stalker’, who takes his clients seeking inspiration, and a professor seeking scientific discovery to a mysterious restricted site known simply as the ‘Zone’ , where there supposedly exists a room which grants a person's innermost desires.

Stalker is a 1979 Soviet science fiction art film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky with a screenplay written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, loosely based on their novel Roadside Picnic (1972). The film combines elements of science fiction with dramatic philosophical and psychological themes. Stalker has been called one of the best drama films of the latter half of the 20th century.

The film tells the story of an expedition led by a figure known as the "Stalker" (Alexander Kaidanovsky), who takes his two clients (a melancholic writer (Anatoly Solonitsyn) seeking inspiration, and a professor (Nikolai Grinko) seeking scientific discovery to a mysterious restricted site known simply as the "Zone" , where there supposedly exists a room which grants a person's innermost desires. The trio travel through unnerving areas filled with the debris of modern society while engaging in many arguments.

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Ben Hopkins is a screenwriter, film-maker and novelist. Born in Hong Kong. Grown in North London. Educated at Oxford and the Royal College of Art. Has lived in London and Istanbul. Now lives in Berlin. Speaks English, German, Italian, Turkish and French. His films include features and shorts, fiction and documentary, and have won awards at festivals such as Berlin, Locarno, Antalya and Toronto Hot Docs. Works predominantly as a screenwriter, writing films in all genres for other directors.

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