Recently I've been reading about Jeff Hawkins' Hierarchical Temporal Memory theory, which if my philosophy 101 knowledge does not fail me, I think can be seen in part as a sort of neoplatonism. Spirituality bothers me though, the whole forms things... utterly uncomfortable. So, an explanation grounded on data and hard science always pleases me. (the tangent continues in the comments)
4.5, if you can believe it, Tarkovsky's least favorite Tarkovsky. It a achieves a kind of (which is to say, completely unique, but resoundingly universal) cosmic psychology. Lem's novel was almost exactly the opposite from AT's , who unfolds some of the most trite existentialist questions with this profound pathos, in that it's about suffering and also that parts of it are really so beautiful it hurts to look.
3-4. Man goes out into space to transcend himself, and winds up being brought back in contact with himself via an alien life-form, who encapsulates a number of different self-reflective metaphors, not the least of which being a mirror. It's slow to get-going, but packs a wallop if you're down for an artful, restrained, super long episode of Star Trek, sans camp. Kudos, Tarkovsky, on tapping semiotics intentionally.
I love this slow-moving dreamy science fiction filled with symbolic imagery and a beautiful Natalya Bondarchuk. Hypnotic in style and with interesting philosophical questions. It demands your patience. Especially an overlong scene through the road tunnels of Japan (very futuristic for Communist Russia at the time) almost kill the flow of the film.
Maybe the only flawed Tarkovsky film, yet so divinely mystical throughout that the ultimate taste is one of awe and wonder. As a thesis on the 'Decline of the West'(Occidental instrumental reason) it is alarmingly relevant but also can be easily contested. Yet, its ample Bergmanesque moments (e.g. the midget as the inverse of scientific will-to-power) establish a cinematic program of the spiritual and the maternal.
An interesting examination of the worthlessness of the hierarchical masculine values of civilization. The "smartest" men are sent to Solaris yet at the station they are unable to cope with the literal materialization of their own existence, memories, or experiences when they are separated from their position in civilization and are alone with themselves. Think of when the scientist lashes out at Kris's wife at the
What does it mean to be human? To be alive? To know another person? To know yourself? What is the purpose of knowledge? What is human progression if we are so technologically advanced but we do not know what is within? How can we reach for the stars & understand what is alien to us if we do not even know & respect each other? If we don't even know or respect ourselves? Solaris is a grand masterpiece of world cinema.
Space is too fragile for a mankind that doesn't understand it and so does not appreciate it. Solaris faces humans up to how much they don't even know or recognise about themselves played out in a rusting and decrepit space station in the which the 'Guests' reflect the deepest fears and yearnings of the occupants.
Not quite as personal to me as some other Tarkovsky’s, and one that needs to be further studied to be completely understood. A fairly fascinating cerebral sci-fi that deals with metaphysical questions of existence and love. One that I must undoubtedly revisit again one day when i’m good and ready.
I prefer the Soderbergh version, which connects the thematic dots more concisely & carries a much greater emotional weight. Tarkovsky's film is certainly of interest, specifically in how it evolves his key theme, memory. The absent wife, the childhood home, the dog, the mother, all find their way into later masterworks, Mirror & Nostalgia. A film full of profoundly beautiful moments amid scenes of arduous exposition.
Sadcore science fiction. Despite my rating, I really appreciated this movie. Nevertheless, there were some aspects, such as its simplistic plot, that didn't allow me to fully experience it as cohesively and deeply as I think I could've. It's quite a journey to experience and, mainly, to feell - and reflect about the wonderful questions it rises by the end.
Yet another pretentious foreign art-film that has its characters spend way too much time spouting nonsensical pseudo-philosophical "insights" that aren't really all that insightful. The tedious philosophizing (along with the also typical foreign art-film ultra-sluggish pace) get in the way of what is otherwise a pretty cool, moody sci-fi story. It gets a C.