Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1972, 166 mins. 35mm. In Russian and German with English subtitles. With Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetsky, Anatoly Solonitsyn. In contrast to the technotopian sci-fi productions of the 1950s and 1960s, Tarkovsky’s Solaris offered to early-1970s audiences a completely fresh take on a future world of interstellar travel. Within the genre, the film is uncharacteristically somber and understated in its preference for familiar, “human” imagery of nature and sixteenth century Flemish painting over the exotically new. Tarkovsky’s lack of reverence for technological marvels, special effects, or any kind of futuristic aesthetic allows space for an extremely nuanced psychological portrayal of people affected by enigmatic, haunting phenomena that unravel on the distant planet Solaris. This is only underlined by the no-nonsense, lived-in clothes in an earthy color palette, in which costume designer Nelli Fomina dressed the characters.
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