Stalker

A story about a film about a journey to a room

Winner of The Norwegian Hedda Prize 2013: “Best performance of the year”.
Nominated for “best scenography” and “best sound design” by the Norwegian Hedda Jury 2013.

“Let everything that’s been planned come true. Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy, but just the friction between their souls and the outside world. And most important, let them believe in themselves, let them be helpless like children, because weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When man is just born, he is weak and flexible, when he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it is tender and pliant, but when it's dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death's companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.” – Stalker.

 

This is the story about a journey, a journey into the Zone.
Together with the cultclassic film ”Stalker” by Andrej Tarkovsky and the novel “The Roadside Picknick” which the film is based upon, VERK wants to reconstruct bits and pieces of the film, re-act anecdotes from the novel and contemplate around what the Zone could be. The performance will be an account of numerous watchings of the film, rememberings, misrememberings, and forgettings. Everyone has their own motive to enter the Zone. In the film the people travel into the Zone to save themselves, and that is surely also VERK´s hope. To save themselves!

The Zone itself is a large site believed at one time to have been visited by aliens and later the focus of scientist, opportunists and the curious. Strange phenomonen occur there, and obscure objects are found, studied and even sold. The Zone is also an area where the normal laws of physics no longer apply. To encounter “the Room”, said to grant the wishes of anyone who steps inside. The problem being that these wishes might not be the consciously expressed wishes, but the true unconscious ones.

 

“It all started when we came across a new book by Geoff Dyers: Zona, the subject of which is the author retelling the whole movie Stalker, whilst telling anecdotes from the time he saw the movie, references and personal observations.

Early on in the process we interviewed some people about the movie Stalker. They tried to their best ability to recollect the time during which they saw the movie, summarize events and retell what they could recall of the movie.

After a couple of interviews we discarded the idea and began to work on the manuscript. But after a certain amount of maturing we retreated and returned to the original idea. We did a tenfold of interviews with people of different ages who all had a relationship to the movie.

It turned out that the movie Stalker was a significant experience for many people who grew up in the eighties and nineties. A lot of people saw the movie in the transition between the late teens and the early twenties, at a time in life when identity is formed and takes on it’s regular form.

The movie can therefore also be perceived as a sort of rite of passage between the world of youth and the world of adulthood.

The movie describes a journey, an expedition led by a Stalker who brings his two clients to a place where supposedly there is a room that has the potential to grant a person’s innermost wishes. This place is called the zone.

In Verk’s version we utilize people’s memories of the movie and allow them to tell little stories and anecdotes from a period in their lives when their identity is still fragile. It turns out that no one completely remembers what happened in the movie, and no one quite manages to describe what the zone is. They remember it being of great significance but what it actually was is not clear to them today. In this way the performance becomes an account containing a number of viewings, omissions and misinterpretations.” – Verk Produksjoner

Read the reviews here!

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