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The 2010 Glen Workshop In Santa Fe, NM

Movie Poster for Carl Theodor Dreyer's Ordet
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Produced by Viacheslav Tarasov
Written by Stanislaw Lem (Novel)
Andrei Tarkovsky
Fridrikh Gorenshtein
Music by Eduard Artemyev
Cinematography by Vadim Yusov
Editing by Lyudmila Feiginova
Nina Marcus
Release Date 1972
Running Time 165 min.
Language Russian, German
More Information


In Solaris, a psychologist named Kris Kelvin takes a journey from Earth to investigate the strange state of the crew given the task of investigating the planet Solaris. Soon after his arrival, things take a turn for the weird. More than just the crew seem to be on board the space station over Solaris; he soon comes face to face with his deceased wife, mysteriously reincarnated.  

So unfolds a psychologically complex science about memory, guilt, and illusion. In Solaris, outer space provides not a bold frontier of new sights and discoveries, but a mirror to the human psyche. The journey Kris Kelvin takes is as much a journey into himself as it is a journey to a distant planets. 

As with many of Tarkovsky’s films, time moves by gracefully. We seem to be watching the film through a haze that blurs reality and illusion. Water pours from the ceiling of a house beside a lake, ghostly cars move through dark tunnels, and plants slowly begin to bud before our eyes. Solaris offers a meditative kind of cinema, one that requires you to slow down and calm yourself as the film’s images imprint themselves on your mind.
Tarkovsky reportedly viewed Solaris as an artistic failure; he thought it was too enmeshed in the trappings of the science fiction genre. However, it won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972, and remains one of his most widely-seen films, and for good reason: Solaris offers an abundance of insight and beauty. The story of Kris Kelvin is ultimately a great human tragedy: humanity cannot find peace on Earth, and in the reaches of outer space, it remains just as elusive. 

—Ryan Holt

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