Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Solyaris
USSR, 1972. Creative Unit of Writers & Cinema Workers, Mosfilm, Unit Four. Screenplay by Andrei Tarkovsky, Fridrikh Gorenshteyn, based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem. Cinematography by Vadim Yusov. Music by Eduard Artemev. Production Design by Mikhail Romadin. Costume Design by Nelli Fomina. Film Editing by Lyudmila Feyginova, Nina Marcus.
Audience members who found the Steven Soderbergh remake of this film to be slow need not even bother with the original, which makes the new version look like Moulin Rouge. Andrei Tarkovsky’s mind blowing science-fiction classic is a powerful meditation on love and human existence in the universe. A scientist travels to a space station called Solaris to discover what nature of alien intelligence was discovered by the scientists there. When he arrives, he finds there are only two people left of the original crew, and they are both reluctant to communicate, mostly keeping to themselves. Pretty soon eerie things start to happen to our protagonist as he encounters his wife, who died years earlier, appearing before him as flesh and blood. As far as it goes out into the stratosphere, this beautiful film also travels inwards to the heart and mind of humanity, and although slow it is fascinating and rich with meaning. Don’t bother if you don’t like movies that make you think, but if you are someone who enjoys provocative art, dive right in. Based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem.
The Criterion Collection: #164
Cannes Film Festival Award: Grand Jury Prize