A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
How far will you go for a second chance?
Upon arrival at the space station orbiting an ocean world called Solaris a psychologist discovers that the commander of an expedition to the planet has died mysteriously. Other strange events soon start happening as well, such as the appearance of old acquaintances of the crew, including some who are dead.
An alien of unknowable intention, indefensible power, and indefinable reach. An invasion story without a single Stan Winston creature, annihilated city-center, or large-caliber gun. I'd happily place Lem's tale up there with Odyssey and Alien as top-tier sci-fi stories, without even having read the source material and based only on the adaptations. Solaris is one of the few examples of truly 'alien' aliens I can think of, and as stated previously, any depiction of intelligent life which eschews an anthropic bias is more than OK as a jumping off point in my book.
Tale of the tape, at least for me - Clooney does space madness better than Banionis, Soderbergh's efficiency and visuals make his take more palatable for spur-of-the-moment…
I don't really know if I should call this a remake from Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris (1972), or just another adaptation from Stanislaw Lem's acclaimed novel, so I am just going to call it a remake to simplify my writing. What I am going to do will be more a comparison between the two Solaris (Tarkovky's and Soderbergh's) than a review over the 2002 film. The plot of this movie may already be well known among moviegoers, but I'll still expose it. A psychiatrist is called to a space station orbiting an oceanic world called Solaris, and is surprised by the death of the expedition's commander. As other events begin to occur they start suspecting that the cause of these events…
“I’m not the person I remember, or at least I’m not sure I am. I do remember things but I don’t remember being there. I don’t remember experiencing those things.”
Firstly let us begin with the obligatory statement of how Soderbergh’s Solaris does not reach the sheer brilliance of the Tarkovsky film of the same name. I've truly never understood the appeal of remaking a ‘classic’. By doing this, Soderbergh has subjected himself to a no-win situation. Unless it was a film with a great concept that was not executed to its full potential, or technological advancements have since been made that could assist in the fundamental telling of the story; such as, Cronenberg’s The Fly, there doesn't seem to…
Once again Steven Soderbergh proves himself one of the most elastic filmmakers in the business with this haunting, elegiac and meditative remake of cult 70's sci-fi drama and Stanislaw Lem novel Solaris, not to mention his frequent production partner George Clooney who throws out his all-American charm to provide a quiet, moving performance fitting this equally poised, beautifully shot and at times quite profound piece of drama.
An affecting question lies at the heart of Solaris: what would you do if the person you loved the most, a person you'd lost, came back? Would you be afraid? Would you embrace it? Not understand it? Fear it? Those questions are all posed by Soderbergh through Clooney's haunted doctor Chris Kelvin, who…
I really dig the mood of this film mostly due to Cliff Martinez's great score.
Manages to branch off Tarkovsky's version and explore new ideas within the same material, some of which offers critiques of Tarkovsky's and Lem's visions. This version is also more emotionally probing, a strange feat for Soderbergh the ironic deconstructivist in relation to Tarkovsky the transcendant spiritualist. Oh, and it features Cliff Martinez's best, most beautiful score to date.
Brave enough to exist as a large science fiction film of low consequence. Notable editing, direction. Great performance by Davies.
It lacks in the visual innovation of Tarkovsky's original, but it is still undoubtedly a more human film. Just a bit boring though.
A classic remake of a classic.
Strips down the more dense, richer narrative of the original to focus almost entirely on the central morally ambiguous relationship. Where it lacks in the nuance of its overall cast and themes, the length it goes to flesh out the couple's past works in its own way. It's simultaneously lean with a lot of warmth yet surprisingly abstract for a Hollywood release with a big name like Clooney.
Thought provoking on many different topics - regret, lost love, religion, reality. Nice effects, great cinematography, memorable score.
A very different beast from Tarkovsky's original version, sometimes for the better (shorter runtime, new and interesting ways of exploring Stanislaw Lem's themes) and sometimes for the worse (more blunt in its thematic ponderings, not nearly as visually creative), but mostly for the better.
Both films are just as concerned with whether or not perceptive constructs are just as valid as the real thing if they're able to elicit the same genuine emotional responses, but whereas Tarkovsky explored this using an obfuscated narrative that relied more heavily on visual storytelling, Soderbergh is much more straightforward, often giving us plenty of expository flashbacks showcasing how Chris Kelvin and Rheya met back on earth. This means Soderbergh can focus more intently on…
Perhaps it was the post-turkey tryptophan, but even at 90 minutes, "Solaris" is extremely deliberate movie with sparse dialogue. The 2002 release, directed by Steven Soderbergh ( "Traffic", "Ocean's Eleven") is even the shortened version of the 1972 Andrei Tarkovsky film, which clocked in at a mind-boggling 165 minutes. Yet, in the fourteen hours since exiting the theaters, "Solaris" has been gnawing at the brain membranes and asking for a reconsideration of its performance.
In summation, the reconsideration is justified. "Solaris" dares to ask loaded questions with significant philosophical and moral ramifications, all the while adapting a visual style that is reminiscent of great films like "The Abyss," "Alien," and "2001: A Space Odyssey."
"Solaris" is a giant morality play…
romantic and cerebral scifi with a fantastic premise
I'm sure plenty of people think Solaris is a clever, deep, dazzling film with plenty to say. And they're probably right - but I was so tired when I watched this that it felt like an abject chore.
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
- Dead Man's Letters
- The Ugly Swans
- Morel's Invention
- The Man from Earth
I'm posting this list earlier than normal as I'm not sure I'll be around much next week.
For the purposes…
- Pulp Fiction
- Fight Club
- Blade Runner
- The Big Lebowski
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of…