Stalker: Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky ($36.95, Region 2)
Deep within the Zone, a bleak and devastated forbidden landscape, lies a mysterious room with the power to grant the deepest wishes of those strong enough to make the hazardous journey there. Desperate to reach it, a scientist and a writer approach the Stalker, one of the few able to navigate the Zone’s menacing terrain, and begin a dangerous trek into the unknown. Andrei Tarkovsky’s second foray into science fiction after Solaris is a surreal and disturbing vision of the future. Hauntingly exploring man’s dreams and desires, and the consequences of realising them, Stalker, adapted from Arkady & Boris Sturgatsky’s novel Roadside Picnic, has been described as one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
Our Kind Of Traitor: Dir. Susanna White
Bored poetry lecturer Perry (Ewan McGregor) & his high-flying lawyer wife, Gail (Naomie Harris) are holidaying in Marrakesh in an attempt to breathe life into their failing relationship. Here they are persuaded to help Dima (Stellan Skjarsgard), a Russian mobster who wants to defect. In classic John le Carré narrative, they soon find themselves squeezed between the Russian Mafia, the British Secret Service & a maverick British spy, Hector (Damian Lewis), who is obsessed with exposing high-ranking UK politicians who are colluding with Russian criminals ($32.95, Region 2)
The Fall: Series 3 ($39.95, Region 2)
I must admit I wasn’t sure where The Fall was going to go after the bloody cliffhanger that ended season 2. But Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson is back, and still in pursuit of serial killer Paul Spector who survives the bullet from season 2 but is now claiming amnesia triggered by the trauma. Stella is not taken in, but there are others ready to fall under his spell. Some people find the pace of this show a problem—but I like the brooding silences, especially when Gillian Anderson’s Stella is doing the brooding. Viki
The Young Pope: Dir Paolo Sorrentino
Jude Law and Diane Keaton star in this drama that was created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Youth, The Great Beauty). Lenny Belardo, aka Pius XIII, is the first American Pope in history. Young and charming, his election might seem the result of a simple & effective media strategy by the College of Cardinals. But, as we know, appearances can be deceptive. Especially in the Vatican, among the people who have chosen the great mystery of God as the guiding light of their existence. And the most mysterious and contradictory figure of all turns out to be Pius XIII himself, as he tries to walk the long path of human loneliness to find a God for mankind. And for himself. Something for those who enjoyed Robert Harris’ Conclave. ($59.95, Region 2)