- Original Title: Solyaris
- Director: Andrej Tarkovskij
- Editor: Nina Marcus, Lyudmila Feiginova
- Photography: Vadim Yusov
- Music: Eduard Artemyev, Vyacheslav Ovchinnakov
Donatas Banionis, Natalia Bondarčuk, Jurij Jarvet, Anatolij Solonicyn, Nikolaj Grinko
- Production: URSS
- 165 min.
Scientist Kris Kelvin is sent on a mission to a space base orbiting the mysterious planet Solaris to decide about the future of that expedition. Kelvin finds that the magmatic mass of the planet generates radiation that can materialize the memories, desires and fears of men and women. Affected by the radiation himself, he even encounters his long-dead wife.
Based on a 1961 novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem, this third film by Andrei Tarkovskij is a journey into consciousness rather than into knowledge, with the cosmos mirroring the human subconscious mind. Disquieting, obsessively slow-paced and enigmatic, this film has a hypnotic power that totally captivates the audience with images never seen before in either science-fiction or non science-fiction movies.
With skilful simplicity, by panning over the chaos and degradation of the space station, the director depicts a tormented and skeptical picture of an amazing world of possibilities without ever departing from the humanism of the Russian literary tradition.
In 1972 the film was awarded the Special Jury Prize at Cannes – the only place where the original, 195-minute version has ever been screened. Soviet censors released a 165-minute version for the international market and Tarkovskij himself unwillingly cut 12 more minutes from the French version.
In Italy, producer De Laurentiis had the lines redone by writer Dacia Maraini and had the film shortened by nearly one hour, without even discussing those changes with the director. According to Tarkovskij, the resulting film was exactly the opposite of the original one.
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