The events associated with the filming of one of the best cinematic productions in history give you goosebumps. What happened during the filming of “Stalker” and later with its creators gave rise to many conspiracy theories. Some even believe that the film’s director, Andrei Tarkovsky, “predicted” the Chernobyl disaster.
The script for “Stalker” was loosely based on the science fiction novel “Roadside Picnic” by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
The plot revolves around a man (the titular stalker, played by Alexander Kajdanovsky) who shows people around a place called “The Zone,” where the laws of physics as we know them do not apply, and remnants of extraterrestrial activity remain intact among the ruins. . The area is fenced and guarded by armed forces, and many dangers await the stalker.
Was there a curse hanging over the film?
The production suffered from bad luck from the beginning. By developing the film incorrectly, Tarkovsky I lost an entire year’s worth of material. So the film had to be shot again. However, another problem arose – the Kodak film used was not known to Soviet post-production specialists. The quality of the materials was poor. Tarkovsky was destroyed.
He even considered abandoning the project. Senior figures from the Soviet film institutions that financed the production also began to grow impatient. When they heard about the director’s additional problems, they demanded that the work be completed. However, the director was able to obtain additional financial support and film the film for the third time.
The director had a conflict with the crew
These were not the only problems that Tarkovsky faced when creating “Stalker”. While filming the first version, he came into conflict with cinematographer Georgi Rerberg. He blamed him for the tape incident. finally, Rerberg was released. Several members of the film crew suffered the same fate. They were even left out of the credits.
The film was supposed to be filmed in Tajikistan, but the earthquake prevented that. So the film crew went to Estonia. Tarkovsky chose a part near Tallinn that had been destroyed by industry.
A mysterious rash has plagued women working in film production
During filming, several women from the film crew began to fall ill. They had a strange rash and redness. These symptoms indicate some allergic reactions of unknown origin. However, it was only after the premiere that really disturbing things started happening.
The film was released in cinemas in 1979 and was well received by the audience. In the Soviet Union alone, 4 million people watched it. The work was praised by Western critics, who, apart from the obvious references to the labor camps and the oppressive communist regime, appreciated its universal philosophical message. Naturally, Soviet propaganda had a different opinion about the “Stalker”. They criticized Tarkovsky’s excess of form over substance and his lack of dynamism.
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However, time has shown that Tarkovsky’s last film is a true masterpiece, and it is still eagerly watched today. After the Chernobyl disaster, work took on a new meaning. A similarity was noted between the “zone” and the exclusion zone surrounding the power plant.
First the actor fell ill, then the director, and finally the same disease killed Larisa
Movie success Tarkovsky, his wife Larisa, and Anatoly Solonitsyn, who played the role of writer, paid with their lives. The latter was the first to die in 1982 at the age of 47 years. A rare type of lung cancer killed him. Shortly thereafter, Tarkovsky fell ill with cancer himself.
The disease was discovered when he and his wife were already living in Paris. His doctor believes he could not have contracted the disease from natural causes. After the director’s death in 1986, a hypothesis emerged that the KGB had poisoned him. Larissa was the third patient. She was also diagnosed with the same lung cancer. She died in 1998.
Was the disease caused by toxic sewage?
According to Vladimir Zaron, a sound engineer on the set of “Stalker,” the Tarkovskys and Solnitsyn were killed by toxins from the chemical plant where the film was filmed nearby. Unilad.com quoted him as saying in his 2001 memoir: “We were shooting near Tallinn near the small Jagala River with a half-functioning hydroelectric power station. There was a chemical plant upstream that was pouring toxic sewage downstream.”
“There is even such a shot in the movie Stalker: snow falling in summer and white foam flowing down the river. In fact, there was terrible poison,” Saron said. However, this thesis has not been verified and confirmed.
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