Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Солярис – Solyaris (Solaris)

During one of those days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve I had the immense pleasure of watching this movie that just confirms that for me Andrei Tarkovsky is a genius filmmaker and storyteller.

Have to say that I was very familiar with the outline of the story as a few years back I saw Steven Soderbergh adaptation of the same tale starring George Clooney and I just hate it! Gee, it was awful. In a way knowing a little about the story minimized my pleasure enjoying this movie, but soon enough –before the second part- I forgot about the other movie as what I was seeing, was hearing and was feeling was really intense and grabbed my total attention. The second part is a lot more intense and I was able to enjoy it without all the garbage from the other movie.

This time I’m going to invite you to read a great simple and straightforward essay from the Criterion Collection site where you can learn more about this movie and Tarkovsky. Just to tease you readers, here is an excerpt from the article.

“Solaris helped initiate a genre that has become an art-house staple: the drama of grief and partial recovery. Watching this 169-minute work is like catching a fever, with night sweats and eventual cooling brow. Tarkovsky’s experiments with pacing, to “find Time within Time,” as he put it, has his camera track up to the sleeping Kris, dilating the moment, so that we enter his dream.” If you feel like reading the complete essay go here.

Yes this is another masterpiece from Tarkovsky that not only is perhaps his most close to be labeled as science fiction genre, was his most successful movie in art and money return terms, but also is a strong treatise about the human soul and all the demons and conflicts that live within us. Also is about the only Tarkovsky movie where you can find something related to love even when guilt can dominate the evident story.

The movie won many honors including the Jury Grand Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1972 Cannes fest; also was nominated for the Golden Palm. In the west, this movie became a “cult” movie seen by many even when the movie came to America in the 70’s.

One of Tarkovsky movies NOT to miss, but then you really have to see ALL seven movies by this great master.

Big Enjoy!!!

P.S. I was lucky enough to find a pic of the original Russian poster, so I decided to share this instead of the dvd cover, hope you like this unusual poster as much as I do.

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