#193: Stalker (1979)

When and how did I watch this?

November 7th and 8th, 2015, on YouTube.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Not much.  I’ve grown to expect big things from foreign films on the IMDb Top 250. They’ve almost always been excellent.

What do I know about it now?

Aspiring to be a great film, Stalker fell short by being overcomplicated.  Certain aspects of it were respectable, like how “The Room” served as a device to weigh the true morality of man, but other parts attempted at profundity but came across as unnecessary or long-winded — long, sweeping shots, extraneous monologues, etc.  These elements worked standing alone, but combined with everything else, but it was kinda like having too many ingredients on your hamburger: after a while, it just doesn’t taste good and it’s too much to eat at once.

What are some themes in the film?

Destiny/purpose, sin, greed, faithfulness

Did this affect me personally?

It had a few moments.

Why is this ranked #193?

Like Donnie Darko, it shows flashes of depth and strikes the viewer as special.  As time progresses, however, the viewer likely falls away in a state of confusion, left to make an interpretation at its conclusion (which is one of those “what was that all about” moments in itself).  It doesn’t really make sense, but those who like it anyway (who may not understand everything themselves) would simply say, “Oh, you just don’t get it,” to the skeptic or confused. That way, there’s this exclusive club that rates this movie higher than it really should be.  I think that’s what’s happening here.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She watched it, but she was as baffled as I was.

Would I watch it again?


Would I recommend it to a friend?


Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

I don’t think so.  It’s a cool idea, but it doesn’t work as a film as much as it does a vehicle for philosophical discourse. Just because a movie has cool shots and head-spinning moments doesn’t make it a quality film or story. Sorry.

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