Andrei TarkovskyUSSR166 minutes1972ColourRussian
Presented here in a new digital restoration, Tarkovsky's rejoinder to Kubrick's 2001 is a visionary work in which the travel is not so much into outer but inner space, the cosmos of memory, consciousness, dreams. Dispatched to investigate what seems to be a case of mass psychosis on a space station orbiting the mysterious planet Solaris, psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) discovers that the planet's "thinking ocean" has the power to materialize the deepest and most painful memories of the station's crew — which he discovers for himself when his dead wife Hari (Natalya Bondarchuk) suddenly appears to him. The rationalist soon finds himself the captive of irrational forces, as painful apparitions of his life with Hari and her suicide draw forth his secret and repentive longings for the things he has lost. Feverishly shot in Scope and alternating artificial Soviet colour with black and white, Solaris is possibly Tarkovsky's most moving statement on loss and regret. "A majestic and achieved work of art: not to make too fine a point of it, a masterpiece" (Mark Le Fanu).