Monday, June 15, 2015

549. Solyaris

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

Has anyone ever thought "hmm, 2001:  A Space Odyssey was good, but I wish it was longer"?  I hope to god I never meet anyone like that.  Anyway, here we go with the longer version of 2001.

A psychologist named Kelvin is sent to a space station orbiting the planet Solaris.  The crew that he finds there are all in various states of psychosis.   It seems like the planet produces "visitors" based on the astronauts' dreams.  This actually has the potential to be quite a frightening movie if it wasn't so tedious.

Self-indulgent is the first term that comes to mind.  I am very accepting of lengthy movies if the content warrants it.  But this was ridiculous.  For example, we are forced to watch a car drive through a city for a few minutes for no reason at all.  It's like when people monopolize the conversation when they have absolutely to contribute by saying "Anyway..." loudly.  Have any of these Eastern European directors heard the expression "brevity is the soul of wit"?

Of course, there were moments of this film that were beautiful, but it was still a bit of a chore to sit through.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Tarkovsky's least favorite film that he has directed.

Tarkovsky dislike the comparison to 2001 and called Kubrick's film "sterile."

Remade in 2002 with George Clooney.  Anyone see the remake?


  1. As I seem to be able to be back again..
    I've done a reply to this one twice before, only for it to vanish...
    Yu may have seen Andrew and I sadly agree that we both don't get Tarkovsky, and regret it. I think we both see the ergman type mood and subject, but find some of the imagery just that tiny bit beyond our reach.

    Yes, I've seen the Clooney version.. in an attempt to perhaps find an easy way into this film.. maybe an American made version won't be quite as obscure, but with Clooney, not dumbed down. I'm afraid it just sort of slipped by, not making much of an impression...

    1. Thanks Ray! I probably won't check out the Clooney version then.

  2. I am totally with you on this one. It's ok...and too long.