"Knowledge is only valid when it is based on morality"
- Berton (Vladislav Dvorzhetsky to Kelvin (Donatas Banionis)
Cannes 1972 -
Los Angeles Times - 11/22/2002
"...Beautiful and astonishing....SOLARIS is a dazzlingly imaginative work with awesome production values and special effects..."
Box Office - 01/01/2003
"...A conscious, calculated effort by one of the cinema's deepest thinkers to tackle a wide variety of philosophical concerns....A uniquely dazzling display of its maker's cinematic virtuosity..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/22/2002
"...Stunningly beautiful....[An] hypnotic meditation on guilt, human intelligence, and the nature of man's soul..."
Uncut - 03/01/2005
"[D]eeply innovative....By Tarkovsky standards, accessible. By any standards, a brooding beauty."
Wall Street Journal - 08/01/2013
"A cosmonaut is sent on a mission to a distant space station, but the voyage that concerns us takes place inside the recesses of his brain, and soul."
SOLARIS, director Andrei Tarkovsky's science fiction cult classic, presents an uncompromisingly unique and poetic meditation on space travel and its physical and existential ramifications. When a long-standing Russian space station hovering above the planet Solaris begins to report strange phenomena, Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis), an eager and intrepid cosmonaut, departs for the station in order to investigate. Warned by former Solaris specialists that the planet presents incomprehensible obstacles, Kelvin is nevertheless secure in his mission. However, the minute he steps foot onto the haunted and desolate space station, everything changes. Kelvin learns that of the three members left on board, one has killed himself and the remaining two have seemingly become schizophrenic recluses. When Kelvin's dead ex-wife appears out of the shadows, the reports that Solaris is a thinking being capable of reading human minds and materializing their desires and memories are proven true. As Kelvin joins the rest of the crew in a seemingly life-or-death struggle to understand this phenomena, Tarkovsky crafts a mind-altering earthbound space odyssey. Filled with visions of humanity versus itself, SOLARIS takes the philosophical investigations of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY to extravagant lengths and offers no answers except this: The only frontier humanity has yet to conquer is that of its own existence.
In Andrei Tarkovsky's SOLARIS, a scientist travels to the mysterious planet Solaris in order to investigate the failure of an earlier mission. When his long-dead wife appears on the space station, he realizes that the planet has the power to perceive human desires and make them a reality.
Cult Film |
Essential Cinema |
Space Exploration |
SOLARIS is based on the novel by Stanislav Lem.
Among their 35 demands for cuts on SOLARIS, the Russian censors made comments like "remove the concept of God" and "remove the scenes where Kris is walking with his pants off."
Tarkovsky had wanted to make an autobiographical film but every script he submitted to the Soviet officials was rejected, so he finally settled with Solaris, as the censors deemed science fiction a safe genre aimed towards the youth and incapable of harboring subversive elements.
Tarkovsky had wanted to cast Swedish actress Bibi Andersson in the role of Hari.
Tarkovsky saw Stanley Kubrick's 2001 and disliked it, thinking it cold and sterile and relying too much on technology. He then set out to make SOLARIS its opposite.