Solaris (1972)

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Written by Fridrikh Gorenshteyn and Andrei Tarkovsky based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem
(number 296)

Went into this film knowing only two things: it’s a science fiction movie and that it was remade a few years back.

It’s amazing how quickly this movie grabbed me, a great script based on some fascinating ideas, acted well. It’s a movie with almost no soundtrack which made it a little disappointing that my next door neighbours chose to play a lot of loud jazz while I watched it, so… I guess the soundtrack of this movie was eclectic jazz.

The movie is filmed in the manner of a slow burning arthouse film and the space station is designed very much in the vein of the designs in 2001, just gorgeous. zDFfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffe… that was Mochi walking across the keyboard. The retro-future stuff is just so funky and good. He’s in space and he’s wearing monogrammed brown cotton pajamas? Love it.

It’s great to watch this as over the last few months Anna and I have been watching a lot of ‘cerebral’ science fiction movies. The quiet dramas set in space which address big questions, like Arrival or Interstellar. This is one of the seminal precursors to that film, and I can see why. The moral conundrums. The strangeness which cannot be explained by humans. The implications of a planet with a massive, unknowable sentience that has poor ideas of how to communicate with a human.

Does it make me love the people? Yeah for sure. Kris gets you on side with his family connections and his desire to help people out. It’s rough when he tries to fridge Hari but given the circumstances… I can’t blame him? and then when she returns he’s immediately accepting, protective and loving of her. The others on the station are a little harder to feel sympathy for but for a movie which constantly questions and interrogates what is human? what is love? what is the meaning of life? It definitely invest you with the love for humanity as you ponder.

Bechdel test: No. Although Hari is a fascinating character, she only speaks to men.
Hari: It doesn’t matter why man loves. It’s different for everyone.

Best line:

Dr. Snaut: Science? Nonsense! In this situation mediocrity and genius are equally useless! I must tell you that we really have no desire to conquer any cosmos. We want to extend the Earth up to its borders. We don’t know what to do with other worlds. We don’t need other worlds. We need a mirror. We struggle to make contact, but we’ll never achieve it. We are in a ridiculous predicament of man pursuing a goal that he fears and that he really does not need. Man needs man!

State of Mind: Very impressed. I love this kind of science fiction movie, and it even sparked a couple of story ideas which is pretty awesome but I’m also a little overwhelmed with fiction ideas at the moment. I think I’ll watch the remake with Anna, since it’s hopefully going to be a little shorter and a little easier to follow being not in Russian and all. The soundtrack seemed to imply the ending was terrible/scary but I felt it was a pretty uplifting ending given the circumstances.

Watched movie count


1 thought on “Solaris (1972)

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