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December 05, 2002


what can i say? has anybody else seen it? do you want to explain the end to me? why were there suddenly multiples of her? did the drugs kill him? why did the very end have to be so incredily hokey patokey? was he dead all along? how fucking cool was snow (jeremy davies again)? why would she want to stay with him? he was kind of an asshole. what the hell kind of visitor was the black woman having? was it even human? i know no one will have any hard evidence on that, because we never saw it, but guesses?

technically i liked it. i liked the cinematography of it. i disliked the dialogue for the most part unless it was snow that was chatting. because his flippancy and gesturing were creepy fantastic. but other than his ass george clooney was irrelevant to me. and natasha mcelhone has really nice hair but... well and nice eyes. they take up her whole face almost! it's pretty sweet.

the website is pretty cool. i learned for example that it's based on a previous movie, solyaris and here i thought steven soderburgh had more indie film integrity than to copy. apparently i was way wrong.

Posted by michele at December 05, 2002 12:01 PM

ARRRGH!!! My jealousy knows no bounds, now that you've seen it.

Posted by: Jacob on December 5, 2002 12:38 PM

you haven't seen it yet? it seems like something you would have seen by now silly jacob, solaris is for you.

Posted by: michele on December 5, 2002 01:02 PM

It's something that I WANT to have seen by now. And the original Russian version is (I think) sitting in my mailbox. Too bad I can't get into my mailbox because someone broke the lock....

Posted by: Jacob on December 5, 2002 01:09 PM

I will concur on the Jeremy Davies props. Even though I didn't like him that much in "Saving Private Ryan," the mainstream film where he got the most acclaim, he was splendiforous in both "Solaris" and "Spanking the Monkey." I just wish he'd been in the film more.

Gene had an interesting comment afterward about how Soderbergh manages to maintain a consistent visual look in all his films. I'm not sure if that means he simply uses the same cinematographers, or same art directors, but I was struck with how much the flashback/Earth sequences reminded me of how "The Limey" looked. Visuals were great, music was great, but I always have trouble giving an opinion of movies that I didn't understood completely.

Posted by: sean on December 5, 2002 01:35 PM

you should seriously see CQ, sean. cause jeremy davies is all that fucking film and he is sooo good in it.

Posted by: michele on December 5, 2002 01:45 PM

what i meant there was "all OVER that film"


Posted by: michele on December 5, 2002 01:45 PM

p.s. hmmm... i don't know if gene's theory holds up so well with comparisons between sex, lies, and videotape and solaris...but maybe it does. i dunno. gene?

Posted by: michele on December 5, 2002 01:48 PM

Solaris the book by Stanislaw Lem is an interesting read, partly as an example of somewhat old-fashioned sci-fi, partly as the foundation for the films of the book by Tarkovsky and Soderbergh, and partly for the ideas etc. The characters have been renamed in the movie, but I will use their names to describe the book as well for convenience.

You might think that the films don't have much dialogue and must have left out much of the book. This is only partially true, as the book spends a large amount of the time describing Kelvin's reflections on the 100+ years of scientific research that has been done on the planet Solaris, and what the current manifestations might mean. There isn't an enormous amount of dialogue, and both films really distil what's there. Some elements of the book are: the apparitions started to appear when the station conducted illegal xray experiments on Solaris; Snow wasn't a Solaris copy; Snow and Gordon's apparitions are never seen but seem to terrify the two of them, particularly Gordon; there is no child; the apparitions can become frenzied when separated from their human stimulus, beating down doors etc; the copies appear to be human down to their blood cells, but have a neutrino rather than atom-based sub-structure; and Gibrarian's speech to Kelvin is a dream.

Other interesting info in the book is that Solaris is an ocean planet orbiting a binary sun; where the ocean appears to be a gigantic sentient organism in its own right that has the ability to create shapes on the ocean's surface (organic computing constructs?) and also manipulate the orbit of the planet itself. The question is partly about evolution - is the ocean the end of an evolutionary process where a myriad of lifeforms became one, or simply an example of a process that skipped the stages of human evolution to go from the 'proto-ocean' (from which all life evolved) fairly directly to the sentient ocean.


Posted by: Bruce on March 30, 2003 04:17 PM

I find it fascinating as well to think of a planet that is all ocean and have sentience as well.

Posted by: Kerstin Cochran on April 30, 2004 05:17 PM