Saturday, November 11, 2006


SOLARIS (USSR 1972 Andrei Tarkovsky)
Pacific Cinematheque
Friday, November 17 - 9:00 pm
Saturday, November 18 - 6:30 pm

Like STALKER, SOLARIS has been featured on all three of the Arts & Faith 100 Spiritually Significant Films polls (2004, 2005, 2006). Also very deliberately paced, but (from what I hear) perhaps more accessible than STALKER? I do know that I was very taken with the Stanislaw Lem fiction I read back in the eighties - speculative metaphysics.

Cinematheque: "Based on a novel by the noted Polish writer Stanislaw Lem (who died earlier this year), Tarkovsky's Solaris is often described as the Soviet 2001 ; the late Jay Scott of The Globe and Mail once called it " Star Trek as written by Dostoevsky." The film's plot has a troubled, guilt-ridden scientist sent to investigate strange occurrences on a space station orbiting Solaris, a mysterious planet with an intelligent Ocean capable of penetrating the deepest recesses of the subconscious. Confronted on his arrival by the incarnation of a long-dead lover, the protagonist is forced to relive the greatest moral failures of his past. Solaris is magnificently mounted in widescreen and colour, and offers a fascinating, felicitous marriage between Tarkovsky's characteristic moral/metaphysical concerns and the popular format of science fiction (a genre for which the director expressed no particular affection, but to which he would return again - more obliquely, just as cerebrally - in Stalker and the Swedish-made The Sacrifice ) . Steven Soderbergh's admirable American remake, starring George Clooney, was released in 2002. "Solaris ranks with the best of Tarkovsky's work, which is to say it ranks with the best movies produced at any time" (Scott). Colour, 35mm, in Russian with English subtitles. 167 mins.

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