Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Solaris 1972

Director:Andrei Tarkovsky
It resembles Hitchcocks Vertigo in some ways. First, in being about love for a woman who does not, in a sense, exist. Like Hitchcock  it has slow ,brooding, meditative  rhythms.

The car winds it's way through the roads and subways of Tokyo, endlessly, smoothly purring through a seemingly endless journey, and then aerial views of the metropolis, the day fading into the nocturnal patterns of traffic lights and neon signs. It captures the long, uneventfulness of the space journey as the psychologist  Chris travels on his mission to the space station orbiting Solaris where the psycho-drama is to be enacted. There is no gimmickry and the space station might easily have been a drawing room except for the backdrop of a sea of stirring broth swirling slowly which we are reminded of periodically. The poetry is powerful but always restrained, imitating natural rhythms like weeds and river plants undulating in water. This image of the undulating finger like plants is perhaps the bridge between the two worlds of the movie.

The Solaris mission  has been going on for some years . Its apparently not all that hard to send someone there or to come back. There is some talk about science as a mistreass or as a master, humanism versus  scientific fundamentalism, these points being personified in specific characters. These are the questions could have have been popular in the USSR at that time, but are definitely datd now.

 The swirling liquid ocean which constitutes the surface of the planet has a power of  recreating, not  as fantasies but in flesh and blood their respective thought creatures in the astronauts' minds. But this is the paraphernalia. The magic lies in the mood and the rhythm, and the twisted  drama of love. Chris's  late wife Hari, who committed suicide is resurrected as an immortal neutrino woman. She is human in all respects-- she has a self,  all human feelings, deficient only in  lacunae of memory. She is. She is real yet not real like the two Madelienes (Kim Novak)   in Vertigo. She is unhuman in her origin, physical constitution, yet tragically human in the capacity of falling in love.

1 comment:

Plum said...

I really like this review. The actual film moved too slowly for me, even though I really liked the idea of it. I dunno, maybe I should watch the George Clooney version?? Juuust kidding! lol

Don't Be a Plum