Close Up

24 March - 15 May 2019: Solaris


Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972, 165 min
Russian with English subtitles

"Mindful that a space odyssey might find better favor with the Soviet film authorities following Andrei Rublev, Tarkovsky reshaped Stanisław Lem’s metaphysical science-fiction novel to his own preoccupations with memory and sacrifice. A psychologist travels to a space station orbiting Solaris to explore rumors that the planet’s ocean may be a "thinking substance," materializing the astronauts’ memories. "I’ve noticed," Tarkovsky told an interviewer at the time, “[that] if the external, emotional construction of images… are based on the filmmaker’s own memory… then the film will have the power to affect those who see it." In this sense, the extraterrestrial ocean can be understood a figure for cinema itself, the means by which one’s innermost visions are to be extracted and reengaged. Magnificent set design notwithstanding, Solaris is surely the most intimate of science-fiction epics, a journey into inner-space revolving more around heartsick regret for lost love than blind terror of the unknown." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Andrei Tarkovsky