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Solaris

"Haunting, provocative, beautifully shot and infused with an irresistable, tender sadness, this is sci-fi, and indeed cinema, at its most powerful and mysterious." - Film4

“Andrei Tarkovsky started work on an adaptation of Stanisław Lem's philosophical science-fiction novel, Solaris, in 1968 in an attempt to find a popular cinematic subject. After the usual labyrinthine negotiations with the Soviet authorities over the script, what emerged was a space film unlike anything before or since.

“Lem's novel posited the existence of solaristics; the study of an outlying star system that had bizarre effects on human psychology. Tarkovsky took this idea, and turned it into a dreamlike interrogation of faith, memory and the transfiguring power of love.

“Tarkovsky begins his version of the story with some of the most magically earthbound images ever filmed, as his protagonist, a psychologist called Kelvin, contemplates his garden. He then embarks on a voyage to the space station circling Solaris, there to investigate the reports of eccentric behaviour of previous visitors.

“Tarkovsky was barely interested in Lem's main preoccupation: to theorise about what might constitute alien life. Solaris, and its apparently animate "oceans", are simply a conduit to, and externalisation of, deeper spiritual matters. The clarity and beauty of Solaris ensures its majesty lives on.” - The Guardian

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