Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sight & Sound Challenge: Solaris (1972)

Film: Solaris (39/250) 
Critics Poll: 154th 
Directors Poll: 224th 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

I love the science fiction genre. It opens the door to endless exploration of ourselves, our motives, how we deal with change, grief, knowledge, loss, jealousy, guilt, ambition, insecurity. It invites questions but doesn't always answer them. It asks you to wonder. Solaris is such a film. Solaris, the planet at the center of this film, represents all those questions. The characters in that film are driven mad with those questions. When an outsider comes into the situation, his whole world changes. 
I had actually already seen the Steven Soderbergh 2002 remake before seeing the original, and they are both excellent films. I might actually prefer the remake overall; it explores the same themes while slightly widening the scope with stronger supporting characters, and all in a less intimidating runtime. Both films are worth exploring for a creative and intriguing look at how we cope with our inner demons, set in the inscrutable unknown. A pretty good way to spend an evening!

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching this in 9th grade. Some parts of the film legitimately appealed to me (the idea of a truly alien intelligence, the psychodrama), but I was also frustrated by the somewhat opaque storytelling (though it might have just been me being 14 years old).