Zona by Geoff Dyer

Zona by Geoff Dyer

Author:Geoff Dyer [Dyer, Geoff]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Performing Arts, video, film
ISBN: 9781921921568
Publisher: The Text Publishing Company
Published: 2012-01-29T16:00:00+00:00

JOLTED OUT OF SLEEP and back to colour…The dog is there now, summoning us back to the showable world, the sayable, barkable world that we perhaps didn’t leave at all, just entered more deeply. Stalker opens his eyes as if returning from the dead, from the dream of life. He begins reciting from the Gospels: and that very day two of them were going to a village called…We don’t hear the name of the village but it’s Emmaus, obviously. Now, one might want to ignore the Orthodox Christian aspect of Tarkovsky but it’s unignorable—unignorable but, at least from my point of view, confusable. He himself approaches but they don’t recognize him and He asks them why they are sad and one of them named…The camera lingers over the face of Professor, just as Stalker is about to pronounce the name Judas. Or so I thought because it’s all jumbled up in my head, this stuff: vague memories of Sunday school, religious education at school and, more recently (but still a while back), bits from The Waste Land. So no, it’s nothing about betrayal, it’s actually about the Resurrection, the he is not dead, he is risen bit. Writer’s eyes are open, Professor’s eyes are open and nei-ther of them is hallucinating. They really are sitting there listening, both thinking the same thing: Has this Stalker of theirs got a Messiah complex? Not exactly changing the subject but picking up from where they left off before they all nodded off, Stalker reminds them that they were talking about the meaning of life and the unselfishness of art. (Were they? Were we? How long ago?) Take music, for example. It’s not connected to reality, is devoid of associations. As he’s speaking the camera lifts up from rocks and their emerald-green covering of moss into the glassy grey reflection of the lake. A Sugimoto-esque vision of absolute nothingness, devoid of associations (except, I suppose, associations of Sugimoto), fills the screen until, as the camera continues moving upwards, we see the blurry reflection of the trees that fringe the lake, the still lake, then the trees themselves and the grey sky whose reflection was held by the lake. That glimpse of nothingness unconnected to reality, it turns out, was itself a bit of reality.35 And a reminder of how little sky there is in Stalker or in Tarkovsky’s films generally. He is the most earthbound, least Shelley-like, of visionaries, interested only in the sky as it is reflected ‘in the river, in the puddles.’

There’s the woody sound of the cuckoo again. Professor and Writer are listening, spellbound, as Stalker sermonizes about how something in us resonates with harmony, with the unneeded beauty of music. They’re not bored or cantankerous kids now, they’re entranced, sitting there hanging on his every word, listening to him as if it’s the sound of music itself, when there is only the sound of the cuckoo, proclaiming the unasked miracle of its existence.

Not that that makes them eager to sample what Stalker has got lined up for them next: a grimy, slimy, morbid-looking tunnel.


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