in about 100 words or less
Soviet Union 165m, Colour
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky; Cast: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Nikolai Grinko, Anatoly Solonitsyn
Solyaris is a creative and thoughtful science-fiction film that has minimal special effects and sparse set design. The plot of the film, to understand an alien force that is capable of re-creating beings from the thoughts of the scientists who are living aboard a space station orbiting Solyaris, provides a mysterious and chilling problem for a psychiatrist who is sent to investigate the strange reports that have been sent back to earth. The early slow pace of the film builds tension and heightens the impact of the startling revelations aboard the space station. Comparable to the earlier 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in structure and style, Solyaris rivals this better know science-fiction classic, and is superior to Soderbergh’s 2002 remake (Klaus Ming February 2009).