Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Solaris

It must be something like 30 years since I first saw Tarkovsky's Solaris. I watched it for the second time yesterday and it's amazing how well my memories of it hold up. But Tarkovsky is like that. You may not understand him, you may not even like him, but once you've seen one of his movies there's no way you're ever going to forget it.

Solaris is his most accessible film. It's still makes extraordinary demands on the concentration and patience of the viewer. Who else would begin a sci-fi adventure with 45 minutes worth of footage of people mooching around in a dacha? It's remarkable how the Soviet system was prepared to nurture this awkward, bloody-minded, intensely individualistic artist. The censorship gave him grief- Andrei Rublev was "edited" to ribbons- but no-one ever stopped him working. Solaris was followed by the magisterial, intensely difficult, intensely personal Mirror and Mirror was followed by Stalker, which is like Solaris with all the fun taken out. Great movies- alps of cinematic art- but pop-corn fare they ain't.

Compare and contrast with Orson Welles's experience in Hollywood.

Things to look out for in Tarkovsky.
Dogs
Horses
Dachas
Leaking roofs
Rain
Steam
Stream-beds
Fire.
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