|ZONA is a book about a man sitting in a room watching a film about a man going to sit in a Room. The film is STALKER, Tarkovsky’s masterpiece, based upon the sf novel ROADSIDE PICNIC by the brothers Strugatsky. (I like STALKER.)
The man is Geoff Dyer, a man who has watched STALKER so often that he is compelled to write a book about it. A book about the film STALKER, and a book about the act of watching STALKER, and a book about him watching STALKER and all the times he’s watched STALKER. Which probably sounds appalling. But, even as the story of STALKER unfolds as a journey into the deepest core of the characters, ZONA becomes a ride into the depths of the film, and of the nature of cinema, and, often quite affectingly, into Dyer’s own life. I must’ve watched STALKER half a dozen times, but Dyer teased new angles out of the film for me, with clear sight and cranky humour, and I’d recommend it just for that – but there is a lot more to like in ZONA.