Sunday, 8 November 2015


Finished reading Zona: A Book about a Film about a Journey to a Room, Geoff Dyer’s 2013 book about Tarkovsky’s film Stalker. Dyer’s book is not a scholarly study of the film but a scene-by-scene commentary on a film that has fascinated and obsessed the author for the past 30 years. It’s a short, breezy read (the book can easily be digested in one sitting), and while Tarkovsky students might feel frustrated that the book reveals little new about the film, Dyer has left me with at least one notion that I will take to my next screening of the film. With tongue firmly in his cheek Dyer imagines the mysterious black dog, possibly abandoned or separated from its owner in the Zone, has in fact ventured into the Room and has had its heart’s desire – of being adopted by a loving family – granted. Hence his reappearance in the final act of the film, back in the industrial wasteland of the Stalker’s home, happily lapping milk and finding a gentle companion in the Stalker’s daughter. It’s a lovely idea and it’s a measure of the brilliance of Dyer’s short book that it has increased my love of the film even more. Highly recommended reading.

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