The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for ten years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence.Written by
In addition to Pieter Bruegel the Elder's "Hunters in the Snow," the painting that is meditated on in the library, four more of his paintings can be seen displayed there during the weightless scene: "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus," "The Harvesters," "The Gloomy Day, beginning of Spring," and "The Tower of Babel." See more »
In the weightless scene, in addition to the candle flames behaving as if they were in Earth's gravity, Khari's dress and hair fall downwards, rather than floating upward. See more »
I think Solaristics has reached an impasse as a result of irresponsible daydreaming. I'm interested in the truth, but you want to turn me into a biased supporter. I don't have the right to make decisions based on impulses of the heart. I'm not a poet.
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The surviving print of the longer first cut is kept in the Russian State Film Archives - Gosfilmofond near Moscow. It is longer by some 20 minutes. 9 deleted and alternative scenes are included on the Criterion Collection DVD release of the film. See more »
Like the majority of reviewers here, I rate this film as one of the most profound viewing experiences I can remember. While the IMDb guidelines recommend avoiding reference to specific reviews of Solaris within this section, I strongly believe that there is much to be learnt about this movie by evaluating those reviews as a whole.
This is clearly either a love or a hate movie. Those who love it describe in detail its effect on them, the feelings it evokes, its significance and the depth of its philosophical enquiry. Those who hate it largely describe it as too slow-paced; boring.
What matters to me about this film which I first watched as mesmerised 15 year old is that it is almost entirely the antithesis of Classical Hollywood cinema. It came from behind the Iron Curtain (that dark place whose strange and hidden 'otherness' has, like the plot of any modern movie, now also been laid wide open by capitalist 'democracy'). Its actors were unknown - more like real people than the celebrities the West populates its movies with. Its pace was slow, mesmeric, hypnotic and atmospheric. It was completely free of the kind of 'good triumphs over evil' motif that riddles Hollywood film-making, where 'good' is white-ness, wealth, youth, Westernness and so on.
The pleasure of Solaris was that I didn't know what I was watching. I didn't know who I was watching. I didn't know the culture it reflected and - most importantly - I didn't know what was going to happen.
Perhaps its only in re-watching the 1971 Solaris that it becomes apparent to me that somewhere along the way we have been stripped of the right to not know; robbed of the true narrative thrill of being led into the dark, magical forest of the unknown.
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