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USSR 1972. Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky. 167 min. 35mm

Adapted from Polish author Stanisław Lem’s 1961 novel, Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky’s metaphysical epic is often described as the “Soviet 2001” — although “Star Trek as written by Dostoevsky” (Jay Scott, Globe and Mail) also fits! A guilt-ridden psychologist (Donatas Banionis) is sent to investigate strange occurrences on a space station orbiting Solaris, a mysterious planet with a sentient Ocean. Confronted by the incarnation of his long-dead wife (Natalya Bondarchuk), he is forced to relive the greatest moral failures of his past. A brilliant exploration of love, truth, and what it means to be human, Solaris is magnificently mounted in widescreen and colour. Steven Soderbergh directed a surprisingly worthy American remake, starring George Clooney, in 2002. “Solaris ranks with the best of Tarkovsky's work, which is to say it ranks with the best movies produced at any time” (Scott).




"More an exploration of inner than of outer space, Tarkovsky's eerie mystic parable is given substance by the filmmaker's boldly original grasp of film language and the remarkable performances by all the principals."

Chicago Reader | full review

"The greatest science fiction film ever made ... It is not simply the magnum opus of an acclaimed director, but the benchmark against which all sci-fi should be held accountable."

Little White Lies | full review