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Zona: A Book About A Film About A Journey To A Room (2012)

Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room (2012)

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3.75 of 5 Votes: 2
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0307377385 (ISBN13: 9780307377388)

About book Zona: A Book About A Film About A Journey To A Room (2012)

This was stage three of this month's Belligerati triathlon: the book (Roadside Picnic), the film (Stalker), and now the book about the film (Zona). Sounds like, as Dyer himself observes, "one wouldn't get far without the word meta cropping up and turning everything to dust." Yet it turned out to be a good experience all around. I loved Roadside Picnic, but was puzzled by the Stalker, which seemed to have little to do with the novel. Little did I know I was blundering into a film that's iconic for impenetrable Russian auteur cinema. Without Dyer's witty and thoughtful analysis I might have been scratching my head forever without seeing any of the merit in Tarkovsky's madness. Reading Dyer is like sitting around the pub with a very knowledgeable but half-drunk friend; the discussion goes off on all sorts of ridiculous tangents, but never fails to entertain and enlighten. Geoff Dyer has an openness to experience that finds the truth in what I might discard as debris, until, of course, his discourse reveals that its detail is intrinsic to any understanding. Nothing is unexamined and, remarkably, the balls are all airborne -- the scholarly research, the history, the personal, the travelogue, the fantasies, the references -- none fall to the ground. It's a display of criticism as art, proof that the source can often be a springboard for a new art born from art. After reading the novel on which the film (and then watching that streaming free on YouTube!) on which Dyer's book is based I feel as if my toe has only teased the deep waters that he submerged himself in to write this unclassifiable tome. His journey is no less magical than the one taken by the Stalker of the film and his two companions, the Writer and the Professor, and the one that we as viewer and now reader are on with Dyer, who has the almost supernatural power to anticipate our emotional state page by page, shocking me at least when at the beginning of the book's only section break he acknowledges that sense of relief in pausing, in the blank page or even a carriage return offers for the reader. How did he articulate something that I didn't even know I knew? In all honesty, I had a hard time watching STALKER the film. It was slow (Dyer acknowledges that, too, of course) and at one point over the few days it took me to piece together the time to finish watching the film I dozed off only to wake and see the three main characters asleep themselves as if the novel, film and book were not separate expressions, but living and breathing moments in time, my time, forever repeating themselves. I felt as if the moment in which I'm alive now is no more real than the moment captured on film, on the page, in the past or in the future, it's all inescapable and existent simultaneously. It's that type of impossibility that made me sense the presence of the other in the novel, shown in the film and revealed in Dyer's marvelous account.

Do You like book Zona: A Book About A Film About A Journey To A Room (2012)?

I think this book is pretty much the meaning of life.

Less about Stalker than it is about Geoff Dyer.

Oh dear, sorry Geoff but I cannot read this.


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