13 March 2012

Event: Geoff Dyer on Tarkovsky's Stalker

To promote the release of his new book Zona, jack of all genres Geoff Dyer hosted a panel discussion around a DVD-screening of Tarkovsky's Stalker in front of a spillover crowd on Saturday at the New School's Tishman Auditorium. People sat in the aisles, in partial-view alcoves, in folding chairs carried in by a custodian. The book is about—or, roots its digressions in—that 1979 movie, an obsession of Dyer's since he saw it in his twenties, the film he's seen more than any other ("except When Eagles Dare," he said); it's part novelization, part critical history, and part memoir, an idiosyncratic exploration of an idiosyncratic film.

Occupying a space between Jarmusch's lanky hep and Lynch's preternatural nerdiness, Dyer headed an impressive roster of guests: Walter Murch, Dana Stevens, Phillip Lopate, Francine Prose, and Michael Benson. They offered "commentary and banter" throughout the evening, before and after the film and at least three times during, when Dyer pushed pause on the MacBook Pro on stage. (The event was called "Tarkovsky Interruptus," one of several Tarkovsky-related, Dyer-hosted events last weekend). "It's a unique way to see Stalker," Dyer said. "A uniquely irritating way." But perhaps a good way for the half of the audience that had never seen the movie before—those who might resist Tarkovsky's deliberate rhythms. "You're not gonna have a chance to get bored, because of the interruptions," Dyer said. "It does not move at the pace of a James Bond film."

Keep reading this article at The L Magazine

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