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Comments 1 - 15 of 26

_Bishop_'s avatar

_Bishop_

One of the best SciFi ever made.
13 years 3 months ago
K.'s avatar

K.

A rich and breathtaking work of profound thought and beauty. This is not a film you simply watch, it's a film to experience. Tarkovsky never made films merely to be watched, he made films to submerge yourself within, films that challenge the viewer to think beyond the material. His films are a journey through the inner man and a quest for the spiritual nature of life, and with his films, he invites us to join in that journey and quest. His films don't tell you what to think, they challenge you to think, to think about existence, beauty, and art. He never set himself the task of explaining anything, he was a spiritual observer, and his films are philosophical meditations on the meaning of life.

This is one of the key films that shaped my understanding of what cinema is. The pace of it may be gradual, but it's never tedious. The pacing is all part of the effect as it allows you to meditate on the philosophy and sheer beauty of the film. Ingmar Bergman once said of Tarkovsky that he was "moving freely and fully at ease" in a room that he had always wanted to enter. I understand this sentiment, as Tarkovsky did achieve something that is beyond the realm of say, Bergman. He created a world on film that goes beyond what can just be seen or explained but felt deep within - a world deeply rooted in the poetry of life, the ground between reality and dreams, the inner and outer spaces of human beings. And not to say that Bergman can't also take us here, but Tarkovsky takes us further into a place where nature and spirituality are in unity. Faith and reason aren't at odds here but interwoven.

In this film, Tarkovsky deals with man's technological progression and goal to explore outer space, but our failure to understand our own state of existence, that is to say in other words, our looking outward and forgetting to look inward. The men of the space station are experiencing a unique phenomenon brought on by a mysterious space ocean which brings to form their subconscious, and each reacts to this in their own way based on their personal psychological/spiritual state. The protagonist here is a man in despair over his dead wife, who's committed suicide. Upon arriving at the station, she reappears before him because of the phenomenon. First, he rejects it because it's further troubling to his conscience but soon accepts her, because one, she represents what he needed from his wife, and two, because it's easier to accept the reappearance than cope with reality. Through all this, the viewer is allowed to glimpse into who this man is, as well as reflect on ourselves.

That is part of the film's immense power, it challenges the viewer to question themselves in the situation of the space station; what are your greatest memories, desires, and fears? What appearances would you face? Would they be happy, depressing, dark, etc.? How would you react to, and handle them? These are some of the questions I've walked away asking myself since watching it. It's definitely a film that demands your patience and attention, but in the end, it's a hugely rewarding experience and a film I'll continue to return to over the years because it takes us into the purest realm of cinema, a realm that allows us to reflect on ourselves and our state of existence.
5 years 4 months ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

I've used the term "glacial pacing" before, but I didn't know what it truly meant. Tartovsky's lingering on images borders on the photographic - or still life - and has a very unusual effect. The more you stare at an image, the more you start to figure out its meaning, and when that meaning is later evoked, the memory of the image is strong, not to say burned on your retina. It's not for everyone and every occasion, but I found it quite fascinating. If you've seen the Soderbergh/Clooney version, you'll have gotten something closer to Lem's original novel; Tarkovsky has other concerns, and makes this "anti-2001" about nostalgia. Nostalgia for Earth, for nature, for the people we have lost, and slyly perhaps, for pre-Soviet Russia. And I don't think enough commentators bring up Tartovsky's dry sense of humor, because it's definitely there, often deprecating his own inability to make a mainstream film. A must-see for film history buffs
8 years ago
ermi's avatar

ermi

Wow. This got to be one of the most profound movies ever made. At some scenes I could barely breathe.
10 years 8 months ago
the3rdman's avatar

the3rdman

An encounter with the truly alien; total lack of understanding.
12 years 4 months ago
roobin_22's avatar

roobin_22

I really don't want to see it again
13 years 4 months ago
Mahler1860's avatar

Mahler1860

Felt like the style and pacing drew a lot from 2001 from a few years prior; in particular, the last 15 minutes or so of both films. Both left me with the sense that I didn't fully grasp something much larger and profound, yet left with a sense of awe nonetheless.

That being said it IS a long watch, and the tempo is such that it will indeed evoke the occasional need to nap. Overall I'm definitely glad I gave this a go.
10 years ago
Lote's avatar

Lote

The movie is just as crazy as the book. Loved it. A truly beautiful way of showing us that we know nothing and aliens may be just out of the reach of our understanding.
11 years 7 months ago
BillieDove's avatar

BillieDove

I was shaking at the end. Shaking.
12 years 9 months ago
VVKT's avatar

VVKT

Incredible movie. It's at the same level of "2001: a space odyssey" in my opinion.
9 years 7 months ago
yah5's avatar

yah5

Weirdest movie I have ever seen! Barely could understand it and was lost most of the time, but somehow I liked it. Will definitely give it another watch or 2.
13 years 3 months ago
Paper_Okami's avatar

Paper_Okami

Wow I just saw this and it was absolutely amazing!
I need to watch it many more times though because there was a lot that I did not understand.
13 years 11 months ago
Cassiodoro's avatar

Cassiodoro

We love our conscience or we protect it from ourselves?
9 years 8 months ago
ClassicLady's avatar

ClassicLady

I tried to watch it two times and fell asleep each time. I know there is great substance here but it moves way too slow and mysteriously for me. I'll try a third time (with lots more coffee) because I know it's concept is fantastic.
10 years 4 months ago
Andrewski's avatar

Andrewski

It’s remarkable to think of the stakes: the astronauts go to Solaris to observe what’s there, only to take a trip to the more distant place: within themselves. An amazing journey that Tarkovsky invites us to take as we watch.
4 years 4 months ago

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