BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #91: Solaris, by Sarah Brinks

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2 Responses

  1. FictionIsntReal says:

    I’m with you (and Jim Rohner) on this film. I guess with science fiction I have different expectations, so it doesn’t work as well as Andrei Rublev or Ivan’s Childhood for me.

    If I recall correctly, the question of whether the government should keep funding “Solaristics” actually comes up.

  2. Richard Grove says:

    I am sorry you didn’t get it. Reviewing this film, or rating it on Rottem Tomatoes, or whatever– that is missing the point isn’t it? Would you put the Mona Lisa on Rotten Tomatoes? “Didn’t do much for me, she isn’t even really smiling…3 stars…” Rating movies is for Steven Soderburgh, or George Clooney– someone who makes movies and cares about the red carpet and getting an Oscar. That isn’t this film. This comes from a time and a place where people thought that film might be Art, with a capital ‘A.’ Where you were going to change your whole frame of reference and walk out of that viewing thinking questions you knew you had no answer for. I felt stunned by Tarkovsky’s Solaris. I felt like it put me into a meditative state like doing yoga for 3 hours, like I was forced to step outside the normal flow of my conscious mind and inhabit an entirely different, very contemplative place. It still is, to me, one of the deeper film experiences I have ever had, and in fact deeper than I would have thought film could be.

    In graduate school I had a prof play us a video of a dead cow’s head being swarmed by flies in the desert sun. This video she shot, we watched it for probably 40 minutes, doing nothing else, in the middle of the day in a classroom in busy downtown Manhattan. If you let yourself go, and stop thinking about what you need to do and where you need to be, there is an entirely different state of awareness. It is worth the pursuit. Film is so immersive that it can be a truly transportive art form. Tarkovsky did this better than any filmmaker I can think of: he dropped you in this empty space and tried your patience. He left you alone with yourself. If you have the patience it is so worth it.

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