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Released: 1982 (in the US)
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko
Indie cred: Well, it's Tarkovsky -- the late Russian visionary whom Ingmar Bergman himself credited with "inventing a new language" for film. This is one of several Tarkovsky films to have played at Cannes, where it won him the Ecumenical Jury Award.
Why it's worth your while: "Stalker" isn't tricksy high-concept sci-fi. Its premise -- in which the eponymous Stalker escorts two clients to the Zone, a place where men's innermost desires are fulfilled -- is narratively simple but psychologically tangled, making this frightening dream vision perhaps the apex of existential science fiction. Chilly and opaque, it met with mixed reactions in 1979, but recently placed 29th in Sight & Sound's All-Time Greatest Films poll.
- Guy Lodge