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
A number of sources claimed that Soviet officials withheld the 165-minute version from export. Mosfilm did indeed issue this version for export, and subtitled prints were being shown in the United States in 1973. See more »
At the moment when the station attains zero gravity, the candlestick passes floating in the air, with the flames burning the same as in earth. Actually, with zero gravity, the fire doesn't go upward, candle flames would rather be spherical and very weak (blue). See more »
You know, it's really embarrassing but for some reason... I've completely forgotten your face.
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The DVD from Criterion has many small differences in the subtitles from the VHS version released by Fox Lorber. Most are inconsequential (in the VHS version, Kris's father compares him to "an accountant" while in the DVD he refers to "a bookkeeper") but the VHS version's subtitles are incomplete, simplifying some passages and eliminating simple phrases. Early on, Kris's father refers to "that damned Solaristics" (sic) in the VHS version; the subtitles in the DVD say "These Solarists." (In this scene, the VHS version may be more accurate: the DVD commentary by the film historians refers to the line as "damned Solaristics.") Also, the VHS version has Sartorius saying "All the rest is bullshit," while the DVD has him saying, "Everything else is whim." Also, in the in the VHS version, several of the black-and-white segments (including the film of Burton's debriefing) are sepia-toned, and one color shot goes to black-and-white after Kris passes in front of the camera (the scene is completely black-and-white in the DVD). The scene where Kris sees Hari for the second time is in black-and-white on VHS, but it has an orange, sunset-like tone in the DVD (possibly tinted black-and-white). These differences are clearly not a result of remastering or color-correction. Finally, the VHS version, which is two cassettes, shows the title card for "Solaris: Part One" but doesn't subtitle it, and it does not show the title card for "Solaris: Part Two." The title would appear at the beginning of the second tape. See more »
This line from Dr Zhivago says all you have to know about Tarkovsky. He was a thinker and a poet. An artist who's work was at once smart, engaging and aesthetically beautiful! Solaris is a world that materialized thoughts and absorbs creatures into its own consciousness. "Solaris" is an allegory on man's place in the universe, the twisted concept of reality, the meaning of love, grief and - ultimately - life. Psychiatrist Kris Kelvin goes to the station orbiting the planet-entity to assess whether the madness of it's occupants means all exploration should be discontinued. What he finds there are all the demons he has brought with him. You the viewer shall experience the same thing, for Solaris is an inviting and questioning but never manipulative film. What you'll get out of it depends on what you bring with you.
Solaris is often accused of being slow. This is a common misinterpretation: Solaris makes you anxious, and willingly so. Too many segments are like mirrors that invite your mind to venture off into many uncomfortable a place (the traffic scene comes to mind: an allegory for the space voyage but also for fading life and powerlessness). Solaris also makes you fear, with a sense that something isn't quite right and as with the best horror films, what you dread often isn't even on screen. Solaris makes you heart ache on several occasions as well. It makes you miss loved ones and it makes you feel homesick. every additional minute that separates you from the gorgeous opening shots of nature makes you long for Earth.
Solaris is many things but above all it is simply more than entertainment: it is a voyage for the senses, like a favorite song that binds countless disconnected feelings and thoughts. It is a poem.
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