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The Russian answer to2001, and very nearly as memorable a movie. The legendary Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky made this extremely deliberate science-fiction epic, an adaptation of a novel by Stanislaw Lem. The story follows a cosmonaut (Donatas Banionis) on an eerie trip to a planet where haunting memories can take physical form. Its bare outline makes it sound like a routine space-flight picture, an elongatedTwilight Zoneepisode; but the further into its mysteries we travel, the less familiar anything seems. Even though Tarkovsky's meanings and methods are sometimes mystifying,Solarishas a way of crawling inside your head, especially given the slow pace and general lack of forward momentum. By the time the final images cross the screen, Tarkovsky has gone way beyond SF conventions into a moving, unsettling vision of memory and home. Well worthy of cult status,Solarisis both challenging art-house fare and a whacked-out head trip.--Robert Horton
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CastNikolai Grinko, Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetsky
DirectorAndrei Tarkovsky
Screen WriterAndrei Tarkovsky, Stanislaw Lem, Fridrikh Gorenshtein
DVD Release Date:  November 26, 2002
Runtime:  165 minutes
Studio:  Criterion
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review by . April 05, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
"Cineastes" are implored in a review below to lap up this film, and you'd need to be the sort of person who knew what a cineaste was for me to give you an unhestitating recommendation for this film; a mere film buff might it heavy going, and a member of the general movie-going public will find Solaris bamboozling, incoherent and as pretentious as hell.Now if you are prepared to spend three hours analysing in close detail what the significance to the figurative scheme might be of small actions - …
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