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Annotated Bibliography - Chloe Babauta

Page history last edited by Chloe Babauta 7 years, 6 months ago

Annotated Bibliography Assignment


By Chloe Babauta, Megagroup


 1. Stalker. Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky. Perf. Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy and Anatoliy Solonitsyn. New Yorker, 1979. Online Video. 


Stalker is a science fiction art film, written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. The screenplay for this film was based on the novel Roadside Picnic, also written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. The video game series S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is also related to the film and based on Roadside Picnic. The film takes place in a somewhat post-apocalyptic world, and follows the journey of three men into the Zone, which is a closed-off area that is supposed to have the power to grant people's wishes. The protagonist, the Stalker, has faith in the Zone that most others do not, and the film explores his existential crises. The Stalker takes two other characters, the Writer, who only cares about himself, and the Professor, a scientist who wants to destroy the wishing room to prevent people from abusing its powers.


The film is experimental, with longer shots and grittier realism, in contrast to classical Hollywood cinema and the film style of Tarkovsky's time, as well as today's cinema style. At the same time, the film is also science fiction, and incorporates elements that do not exist in reality, such as a wishing room or superhuman powers that are a result of exposure to the Zone. The film is sophisticated and does not make its themes or reasons for its stylistic choices apparent to the spectator immediately. It uses changes in color, from sepia to norma/full-color, in order to show the subjective reality of the Stalker.


2. Bordwell, David. Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 1985. Print.


In Narration in the Fiction Film, Bordwell discusses how the way a film portrays time affects a spectator's understanding of the film. This is a textbook used for college-level film analysis courses and uses an academic writing tone. The chapter on Narration and Time is helpful in understanding the earlier referenced film, Stalker.


According to Bordwell, "in watching a film, the spectator submits to a programmed temporal form" and adjusts accordingly with the film's portrayal of time to understand the story and themes (74). Bordwell also writes that "cognitive psychologists have suggested that the mind's induction operations can be limited by the speed at which the environment demands decisions," which means that the editing and shots of the film are made at certain lengths and speeds in order to convey the tone and elements of narration, to control the spectator's understanding of the story (76).


The chapter on Narration and Time in Bordwell's book is relevant in an analysis of Tarkovsky's Stalker, because the film is lengthy (about 2.5 hours total) and is primarily composed of long takes, which often last over 5 minutes. The use of long takes and long scenes in Stalker is unusual for classical Hollywood cinema, even of its time. By reading Narration in the Fiction Film, we can better understand what the use of time and long shots mean, why Tarkovsky used them, and figure out what he wanted to portray to us as spectators by watching Stalker. Understanding what time means in Stalker helps us to understand the film's overall themes, and in turn, helps us to make connections, as well as contrasts, to the other adaptations related to the film that we will analyze in our group project.


3. Strugat︠s︡kiĭ, Arkadiĭ, Boris Strugat︠s︡kiĭ, and Olena Bormashenko. Roadside Picnic. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review, 2012. Print.


Roadside Picnic is a novel written originally in Russian by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, and translated to English, among other languages and published in 20 different countries. The novel is science fiction and takes place in a world which has been altered by aliens. Their world is divided into different Zones; thieves known as stalkers go into the Zones to take items. The novel follows a protagonist for eight years and gets the reader to sympathize with him throughout the course of the novel.


The novel is of cultural significance and has been adapted into other forms of media, including the film Stalker (1979) also written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, and the video game series S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Looking at the process of adaptation between the video game, novel, and film helps to understand the process of adaptation in general, and shows what themes stay consistent in all adaptations, what aspects change depending on the media form, and why these decisions are made.


4. Pridham, Matthew. "In the Zone: An Excursion into Andrei Tarkovsky’s Film “Stalker”."Weird Fiction Review. N.p., 24 July 2013. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.


This article summarizes and analyzes Tarkovsky's film Stalker. The article is helpful for gaining a better understanding of the film, as the film can be confusing or complex to understand. The article confirmed many of the conclusions I made about the film after watching it, and opened up other ideas I had not thought about myself. The writer, Pridham, addresses different aspects of the film, including its themes, aesthetic techniques, genre, message about government and politics, and meanings of its motifs. Pridham explores the meaning of the Zone, as it works like imagination, and how it serves as a symbol of hope to the Stalker. Pridham also addresses the change of color, from sepia to represent the gritty industrialist world the Stalker lives in, to the greenery of nature in the Zone, in contrast to the city. In this article, Pridham gives a comprehensive analysis of the film in a way that is thought-provoking.


5. Smith, Stefan. “The Edge of Perception: Sound in Tarkovsky’s Stalker.” Soundtrack 1.1 (2008): 41-52. Academic Source Complete. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.


In this article, Smith discusses how Tarkovsky's Stalker uses the combined elements of sound, which include "music, dialogue, diagetic and non-diagetic sounds, as well as the intervals of silence" to create a "complex multidimensional experience, creating in each viewer a unique response to sound."  Instead of discussing the overall themes of the film, Smith writes primarily about how sound, particularly in this film, creates a different experience for each different person who views it, and creates a personal meaning and connection based on the associations they have with the different types of sound. The article provides a different perspective on the film and gives a better understanding of the film as a whole, when looking at multiple aspects of its style, including sound and the earlier mentioned temporal aspects of film.




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