Posts Tagged ‘cinema of the Soviet Union’

A few weeks ago, another blogger and I were discussing the topic of “accessibility” in fiction and film, and by way of example of the “inaccessible,” Prospero brought up the 1972 film, Solaris, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. I had read the novel (by Stanislaw Lem, 1961) and had seen the Soderbergh/Clooney film (2002), but I’d never seen or even heard of this Soviet-era science-fiction film. So, tappity-tap-click-click, I went over to Blockbuster and found I could put it on my movie queue. It arrived last week, and I watched it over the weekend.

Solaris (1972) received critical acclaim on its debut, and at Cannes it won two prizes and was nominated for the Palme d’Or. Ingmar Bergman had nothing but praise for Tarkovsky’s work, and Salman Rushdie called Solaris “a sci-fi masterpiece.”

Now, I don’t give too much weight to awards (though if Red Sonya had been nominated for the Palme d’Or, I might have stayed for the second half), and if you’re talking about inaccessibility in film and fiction, then you can hardly find better wingmen than Bergman and Rushdie. I’ve also seen several Russian and Soviet films, albeit from previous eras (e.g., Alexander Nevsky, Battleship Potemkin, etc.), so I was prepared for the somewhat lugubrious pace that Russian directors prefer. And lastly, brought to my attention as an example of “inaccessibility,” I knew this wasn’t going to be a action-packed laugh-riot.

Thus prepared, cue the music.


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