19 August 2012

Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room

Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room41. Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room by Geoff Dyer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Zona is indeed as its subtitle describes "a book about a film about a journey to a room." I would recommend it to film buffs, fans of the film Stalker or its director Andrei Tarkovsky, or fans of Geoff Dyer's. The more of these interests you have, the better.

I hadn't seen Stalker before I started reading, but it didn't matter since much of the book is Dyer's detailed recollection of the film. Not quite a perfect summary though. For me, the heart of the book is in its numerous footnotes (easily accessed at the bottoms of relevant pages) which contain much of his commentary and research about the film. There's a humor that drifts through his writing that I always enjoy.

By the end of the first section of the book, I was intrigued enough to want to see the film. Ideally one might view the film first and then let some time pass before reading the book or vice-versa. I liked the film much more than I thought I would. It's shot beautifully though most things are in a state of ruin. I saw a few things differently than Dyer and he noticed a good deal more than I did. (He did have the benefit of seeing it multiple times in theaters though.)

In any case, I enjoyed my experiences of the book and the film. Not for everyone, and heads up, the movie is 163 minutes long. I watched it subtitled from the Russian, but I think there's a dubbed setting on the dvd also.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #80 Staying the course

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