Solaris (1961)

Creators

Stanisław Lem (writer).

Extent

Read in Swedish.

Categorization

SF.

Subject

The potential difficulty of human-extraterrestrial communication.

Commentary

The cosmicism of “The Colour Out of Space” (1927) meets the absurdity and opacity of Philip K. Dick’s detective work. It is a beautiful thought experiment but its scientific utility seems very low. Ultimately it seems faintly anthropocentric for the ocean to generate so much human drama by reading human thoughts with precision.

References here: Contact (1985).

fiction text

Adaptation:

Solaris (1972) IMDb

Creators

Andrei Tarkovsky (director).

Categorization

SF.

Subject

A cosmonaut investigates a casualty at a space station orbiting an alien world. When his wife reaches him, it isn’t necessarily important that she used to be dead.

Commentary

The road scene is supposedly there to look futuristic and to justify the expensive trip to Japan where it was shot, but it looks weird enough to trigger some xenoanthropological ostraneniye. This whole film is charged with religious symbolism, absent from and thankfully unrelated to the theme of the book.

References here: Bitter Lake (2015).

fiction moving picture

Adaptation:

Solaris (2002) IMDb

Commentary

Solaris as a form of god is disagreeable. It beats Tarkovsky in some ways, particularly audiovisuals, and exits competition in others.

fiction moving picture