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Solaris

By Robert Horton

The Russian answer to 2001, and very nearly as memorable a movie. The legendary Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky made this extremely deliberate science-fiction epic, an adaptation of a novel by Stanislaw Lem. The story follows a cosmonaut (Donatas Banionis) on an eerie trip to a planet where haunting memories can take physical form. Its bare outline makes it sound like a routine space-flight picture, an elongated Twilight Zone episode; but the further into its mysteries we travel, the less familiar anything seems. Even though Tarkovsky's meanings and methods are sometimes mystifying, Solaris has a way of crawling inside your head, especially given the slow pace and general lack of forward momentum. By the time the final images cross the screen, Tarkovsky has gone way beyond SF conventions into a moving, unsettling vision of memory and home. Well worthy of cult status, Solaris is both challenging art-house fare and a whacked-out head trip.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky

Stars: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet

Released: August 16, 1972

Availability: DVD VHS


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