Stalker – Film and State of Emergency


When Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker premiered 40 years ago, he triggered long-lasting repercussions thanks to his visionary characteristics, especially in relation to the dystopian mood as well as his aesthetic radicalism.

During a two-day interdisciplinary symposium, his reverberations right up to the present day will be examined. The focal points are how this work has been received by creators of film and art of different generations from East and West, as well as the importance of his thinking about the catastrophes and possible ways out.

Saturday, 27 Apr 2019

5 pm, Studio Lobby

Clips of previously unpublished material by Ebbo Demant

Parallel to and in the context of filming of Ebbo Demant's documentary Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Zeit. Andrei Tarkowskijs Exil und Tod, 1988, further interviews and recordings were made with actors and employees, which reflect Tarkovsky's life and work.

Claus Löser (film historian and author): Stalker - Trail without an End I. The Impulses and After-Effects of a Cinematic Work of the Century in East and West

Stalker is evidence of incorruptible artistic autonomy in the midst of the Cold War. News of this completely foreign entity spread like wildfire when the film reached the cinemas of the GDR in 1981. It soon became an insider tip and shaped a whole generation of moviegoers.

Short film:
Tara by Felicitas Sonvilla, 30 min. Germany, 2017, original with subtitles

Europe has become a dark place. Nationalism and surveillance underpin its nations. A young woman, pursued by state authorities, boards a train in Paris headed east. At a place called Tara, a mysterious group has devoted itself to the idea of a new social order. A fragmentary and enigmatic parable about the search for utopia in a dystopian Europe.

Short film:
Eisenwinter by Via Lewandowsky, Super 8, GDR, 1988, 6 min.

Talk with:
Via Lewandowsky (artist, Berlin), Ulrich Polster (visual artist, Berlin) und Felicitas Sonvilla (filmmaker, Vienna), Moderation: Claus Löser

Jonas Hansen (media artist, Halle): T.H.E.Z.O.N.E. A Post-Apolyptic Walk

Inspired by Roadside Picnic, a sci-fi novel as well as a film based on it, Shadow of Chernobyl was released in 2007, the first part of a trilogy about the computer game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The player slips into the role of a stalker on a search for rare artefacts in hostile, post-apocalyptic surroundings: in a simulation in the restricted area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The lecture takes us on a virtual walk in the zone between fiction and reality.

Andrei Plakhov (film critic, Moskau):  Stalker and Andrei Tarkovsky's Influence on Andrey Zvyagintsev and the New Generation of Russian Filmmakers

Andrei Plakhov is Russia's most important film critic and he possesses exceptional knowledge of Tarkovsky's work. His lecture will provide information about the master's influence on post-Soviet cinematography as well as on Russian intellectual life as a whole.

8:30 pm, Studio

Film: The Return – Die Rückkehr
with an introduction by Claus Löser

A father returns ten years after he left his family. His two sons have nearly become adults. They know the man who sired them only from faded photographs. He wants to go on a trip with his sons. The excursion, seeming harmless at first, escalates into a journey of initiation for the brothers. He also works subtly with motifs from the history of art and religion. In doing so, he unfolds a radicalism marked by the upheavals of the post-Soviet period.

RU 2003, 110 min., DCP, original with English subtitles, director: Andrey Zvyagintsev, camera: Michail Kritschman, with: Wladimir Garin, Iwan Dobronrawow, Konstantin Lawrone

Friday, 26 Apr 2019: Symposium day one

Saturday, 27 Apr 2019

Symposium with Jonas Hansen, Via Lewandowsky, Claus Löser, Andrei Plakhov, Ulrich Polster, Felicitas Sonvilla

8:30 pm: The Return
Film by Andrey Zvyagintsev, RU 2003, 106 min., original version with English subtitles

Symposium in German

€ 10/8