Posts Tagged ‘USSR’
Those who have already been in space yearn with all their heart and soul to hasten there again and again. With every single day passing, time leaves my flight in the past. Occasionally the wind will whisper something from the tops of the tall pine trees, and then everything becomes silent. In such minutes I remember the most bright and wonderful experience in my life: the flight into space.
Valentina Tereshkova – the first woman in space
I had a feeling of nostalgia and melancholy over what might have been before I even entered the gallery. After leaving the railway station via the still relatively new and futuristic tram stop and walking up the hill towards the very new Nottingham Contemporary art gallery I passed a huge picture of Gordon Brown grimacing down at me from an advertising hoarding promoting the Conservative Party. It was the final weeks of the election campaign and what would prove to be the dying days of New Labour. Even before I got to the exhibition of art inspired by the Eastern European perspective of the Space Race it was impossible to not think of dashed hopes and what might have been.
I first heard about Stalker ages when I read a rave review of it in a book about science fiction films. It was a film directed by the acclaimed Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. A few years back I had tried to watch his Solaris on late night television but gave up due to both the lateness of the hour and the film’s extreme length. I will not say it was boring exactly, just so arty as to be almost unwatchable. After that the urge to watch Stalker had receded. But then recently I saw it was available for rental so thought I would give it a go.
The film does have a plot, if on the face of it a rather simple one. A Stalker leads the Writer and the Scientist into the Zone (yes all the capitals indicate we are dealing with arch-types not real people here). The Zone was formed after a meteorite (or possibly an alien spacecraft) crashed, leaving an area riddled with deadly ‘traps’ but at the centre of which is a Room that will grant whatever is someone’s deepest wish. Read the rest of this entry »