Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
Loosely based on the novel, Roadside Picnic, Andrei Tarkovsky’s alluring and illusive masterpiece explores the relationship between consciousness and reality. Using the “zone” as an analogy for nature at its purest unaltered state, Stalker contemplates man’s incomprehensible power to shape his own reality. Tarkovsky suggests that man both plays any role in constructing his reality, and is in some way responsible for determining the value of his own existence.
Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961)
Winner of the 1962 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Ingmar Bergman’s first installment in his “Faith” Trilogy, Through a Glass Darkly confronts the insufficiency of faith, science, and art in filling man’s existential void. Bergman affirms that love is the only grounding force capable of providing meaning in human life.
Karen (Harriet Andersson) has recently been released from an asylum where she has been treated for schizophrenia. She is joined by her husband Martin (Max Von Sydow), her father David (Gunnar Bjornstrand), and her younger brother Minus (Lars Passgard) for a vacation on a remote island.
Se7en (David Fincher, 1995)
David Fincher’s grim psychological thriller tells the story of two detectives, Mills and Somerset, who are investigating a gruesome serial killer whose acts of murder are inspired by the biblical seven deadly sins. Se7en examines human society at its most debased state, questioning its value.
Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a jaded detective working in homicide. Dissatisfied with his efforts to make a difference, and disgusted with the city in which works and lives, Somerset is in the process of retiring.
David Mills (Brad Pitt) is a hard headed, idealistic detective who has recently transferred to Somerset’s precinct. After investigating a pair of gruesome murders, the two recognize that they are dealing with an intelligent, meticulous killer, whose motives suggest a twisted act of redemption for the sins committed by a degraded society.