Review: ‘Solyaris’

Andrei Tarkovsky spins a strange, slow but absorbing parable on life and love in the guise of a sci-fi theme [from a book by Stanislas Lemm].

Andrei Tarkovsky spins a strange, slow but absorbing parable on life and love in the guise of a sci-fi theme [from a book by Stanislas Lemm].

It seems to take place in a near future when there is a space station around a strange planet called Solaris, made up of viscous swirling waters, like an ocean but lensed to suggest an oozing mixture of sea and sky, which leads to apparent hallucinations by those up there. Solaris, in fact, may be a thinking mass which creates humans from man’s secret needs or desires.

Film is a flashback by one astronaut who finds the place run-down. A videotape shows him a man who killed himself due to an appartition that had come from Solaris.

Space effects are not in spectacular vein but efficacious, and playing is intense and effective, as are the moral statements about love, life and humanity.

Solyaris

USSR

Production

Mosfilm. Director Andrei Tarkovsky; Screenplay Friedrich Horenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky; Camera Vadim Yusov; Music Enduard Artemyev; Art Director Mikhail Romadin

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 168 MIN.

With

Natalya Bondarchuk Juri Jaarvet Donatas Banionis Anatoli Solonitsyn Vladislav Dvoryetsky Nikolai Grinko
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