By far my favorite of Lars von Trier's films--the only one of his films I actually connect to. Bizarre dystopian serial killer story set in a decaying and waterlogged future where it is eternal night illuminated with a sickly sepia tone. Haunts you in the same way as a dream, hallucination, or nightmare.
A pearl of style, great work for a first long feature. Already pessimist. Strange I've never heard anybody speaking about Trier's debut films, they're very insightful. The movie itself sweat Tarkovskys references in style; those water dolly shots, the donkey in slow mo rolling, the icon figures shots, and the sepia tone. Close to Lopushanski works but before.
Deconstruction of european heritage as a brilliant prelude to LvTs trilogy shrouded with all it’s hazy components, all out sepia soaked, myth dripping, trance … something, but not a rigid criminology - a lit & film genre that were too deeply rooted within european, esp. german culture since Aufklärung. On this account it is on many levels self-referential; which is however a typical characteristic for a debut work.
Some of the most beautifully shot scenes in cinema! This film is clever and thoughtful and hypnotic. Lars Von Trier created a dark, wet universe in which the story unfolds of a man obsessed- haunted, even- by a string of murders and finding the man responsible for them, losing sense of his own identity along the way.
Efforts to imitate Tarkovsky seem juvenile; the landscape of a film like Stalker robbed of spiritual transcendence by an unrelenting post-modern cynicism. However, as a Borgesian procedural, in which themes of identity, culpability & performance are clearly broached, as well as an extended narrative of hypnotic suggestion, wherein the entire film takes place within the characters own subconscious, the film is unique.
A somewhat forgotten masterpiece. I was so happy when finally, after a long struggle, to get a hold of a DVD. It was such a pleasure to "own" it (by the time MUBI didn't exist ; ). When I saw it on TV I was so stunned I called all my friends if they saw it. But no. I still feel I'm the only one, well, one of the few... who really has seen this. It's really a film you want the world to see. To share.