This Is Entry #1000


I wish I had something more interesting to say here today (I had thought about a "10 steps to better blogging article" but I didn't have the time to write it last night, as I was instead engrossed in the Soderbergh Solaris, which is a pretty good movie, if somewhat different than the Tarkovsky version--for one thing, it's over an hour shorter), but here goes:

Does anyone else call IKEA the "land of the rising meatball"?


I just wanted to say: I thought the new version of Solaris sucked. I've never seen the original, and I'd very much like to, but I sincerely hope it bears little-to-no resemblance to the new one (not in terms of overall ideas/plot but just in the way it was done). Ugh.

Define, please. I think I understand what it means, but I'd like your explanation.

The origin of "Solaris" is a novella (published in 1961) by the late Polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem. It has been available in English translation, amongst others, since 1971. Lem is a treasured author amongst a multitude of science fiction fans, but his work was quite squarely in the realm of pulp fiction (like most science fiction).
Tarkovsky was a special filmmaker. He may well be the most towering figure to-date in the high art of moving pictures (the Bach of cinema?). Tarkovsky had a very difficult professional life, however. After enduring a five year bureaucratic ordeal in Soviet Russia over his second film, Andrei Rublev, and having various third film proposals rejected for political reason by the authorities, he finally got them to approve a project based on the Lem novel. It was the only film Tarkovsky made that was built around someone else's story. That said, Tarkovsky basically did what he wanted to with the story, so while Lem's story is largely recognizable within the film, the story is not what the film is about. Tarkovsky's Solaris is a major work of film art, but it is probably the least of his all his feature-length works, and it was certainly his least-favorite work.
Soderberg is a very likeable film talent, and he has produced a remarkably diverse, largely amusing, often clever, and mildly innovative body of product. Some refer to Soderberg's Solaris as a "remake" of Tarkovsky's film, which is a little like saying "What's Opera, Doc?" is a "remake" of Die Nibelungen. No question that Soderberg was acutely aware of the superficialities of Tarkovsky's film: references are all over the newer film. Perhaps a better way to look at it is that Soderberg's film is closer in spirit and substance to the original source material, Lem's novella.
Anyone interested in Tarkovsky would do well to check out this book. Most of Tarkovsky's work is currently available on DVD.

...It was the only film Tarkovsky made that was built around someone else's story...
What about "Stalker"? It is based on Broth. Strughatsky's story 'Picnic on a sideroad'

Oh, sorry, Martin - fingers started typing and I didn't preview.

I stand corrected. You're absolutely right about Stalker. I had completely forgotten.

Leave a comment