'Stalker' to be screened at Venice Film Festival

'Stalker' to be screened at Venice Film Festival

The Soviet sci-fi film drama by Andrei Tarkovsky, which was filmed at the Mosfilm studio in 1979 and is based on the novel Roadside Picnic by the brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, will be shown on September 3 at the Venice Film Festival. 'Stalker' won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980 and now it will be screened at the Venice Film Festival's competition program of restored classic films.

According to the head of the 'Open World' fund, Elena Romanova, "the 'Classics' program doesn't only present films – they are evaluated, and there is a prize for the best film not only in terms of its artistic quality, but the quality of its restoration." She said that this is already the fourth Russian project presented in the 'Classics' program: "The first one was 'My Friend Ivan Lapshin', then there was 'Walking the Streets of Moscow' in Cannes and 'Welcome, or No Trespassing'. All these films, except for 'My Friend Ivan Lapshin', we restored together with the Mosfilm studio, because it would be impossible without the materials provided by Mosfilm. Unfortunately, the state does not pay enough attention to our cultural film legacy, and the restoration of films is carried out through Mosfilm.
 
Romanova recalled that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Andrei Tarkovsky: "It is not an accident that his works were chosen in both Cannes and Venice. Tarkovsky's films received the highest awards of the Venice Film Festival, they know him and love him in Venice. Therefore, I think there will be a proper attitude and attention to the restored film at the festival."
 
 
As the head of the 'Mosfilm' film concern Karen Shakhnazarov explained, the 'Classics' program accepts only restored films: "To some extent this is a competition of restorers in the quality of restored films. They accept only restored classic films. Old films can be restored very well with the help of modern technology. The restoration is not just scanning or digitalization. Today it is not difficult to scan films, but the restoration of this digital copy is a very long-term and difficult work which requires great effort and often requires special technical effort. This is a creative work.
 
We started this work at Mosfilm, we presented 'Ivan the Terrible' at the Cannes Film Festival, 'Alexander Nevsky', 'Solaris'. We manage to revive these great films and give them new life. On the other hand, this is a measure of technical possibilities. We have restored more than 70 films. All of Tarkovsky's films, except for 'Ivan's Childhood', have been restored – 'Andrei Rublev' and 'Mirror' and 'Solaris' and 'Stalker'. Other films are owned by other rights holders.

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