Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Dr. Gibarian, part of a team at a space station studying Solaris, makes an urgent and self-described bizarre video request to his friend, civilian psychiatrist Dr. Chris Kelvin, to come to the station to deal with an unspecified phenomenon aboard, that phenomenon with which Chris' experience and background may be able to explain and solve. Chris learns that his trip is sanctioned by the space program as a security force had been sent to the station to investigate, that security team which is now missing. When Chris arrives at the station, he finds only two surviving team members, Drs. Gordon and Snow (Dr. Gibarian committed suicide), who are both acting nervously. Chris also finds two unexpected people there, the first, who Chris only sees fleetingly, being Dr. Gibarian's adolescent son Michael, and the second being Chris' deceased wife, Rheya. Chris and Rheya had a passionate relationship in all its good and bad before she committed suicide. Apparently, these appearances of loved ... Written by
On Stanislaw Lem's personal website, shortly before he passed away, he posted that he felt this adaptation had overemphasized the human relationship dilemma in his novel, when he had been trying to propound what an Encounter with something truly Alien might be like. The planet Solaris is about as far from any preconceptions of Alien life as you can get, so identifying with Rhea's Phi-Creature misses the point that all the Phi-Creatures are Solaris. See more »
George Clooney is shown traveling in a sleek slightly futuristic rapid transit train but the rear projection/blue screen out the window clearly shows the current day "Merchandise Mart" station of the Chicago CTA Subway. Also during his journey the train he passes going the opposite direction is a present day subway train. See more »
[Chris's memories, in voiceover]
Chris, what is it? I love you so much. Don't you love me anymore?
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There are no credits at the beginning. All the credits are at the end of the film. See more »
What does it mean to be? Is the sense of individuated existence, that sense of being an "I" over and against and within a universe of things and processes that are not "I" real or is it an illusion? In both versions of the film Solaris this subject is explored.
Solaris is not a discussion upon the classic What Is Reality inquiry, but instead does a wonderful job of examining the question of what does it mean to be ourselves, and what is it about ourselves that is unique or even real? The planet Solaris becomes an artistic representation of the true Unknown, and the unknown is that state in which we all exist in, but in which we create forms of meaning to encapsulate the mystery of this moment within the illusion of the Known.
Solaris presents through its actions and its very existence a format for the characters, and the viewers, to examine what it means to live safely within the illusion of the Known, but where the reality is actually an existence in which the Known is not a possibility.
Do not approach this film with the intention of understanding some final conclusion, for like life itself, it is the writers intention that we question our assumptions about this movie, and possibly about our own lives as well.
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