10 Essential Russian Films


In our view, you can’t go wrong with most of Andrei Tarkovsky’s filmography, but Stalker may be his greatest masterwork. A surreal humanist drama that feels right at home next to the more obviously sci-fi and equally amazing, Solaris, we are led into the Zone — an enigmatic and sometimes dangerous space of consciousness manifest, which promises to fulfill a person’s innermost desires. The figure of the “Stalker” becomes a symbol of this desire, and he leads us through Tarkovsky’s journey to the heart of darkness. Stalker‘s dense coil of symbols may be beyond reach for an initial viewing, but it’s the best kind of long, strange trip, fronted by the great director’s lingering camera.