Hey all! Another close-to-the-wire blog post. Between my work week being pretty busy and ya boy scoring a last minute by-the-seat-of-my-pants first jab (ouchies my arm!) I’ve been so busy hustlin’ and a bustlin’ I almost forgot it was ANDREI APRIL! IT’S TIME FOR TARKOVSKY BAYBEEEEEE.
So as I was starting to like read more about film and get more into “the canon,” Tarkovsky has been a name that’s popped up who I feel primed to be into. Slow, contemplative genre epics with a deep emotional center? Obviously that’s not all he’s known for, as his debut films Ivan’s Childhood and Andrei Rublev are both relatively grounded Russian drama. Solaris and Stalker, two Oreo-cookies surrounding the cream of his contemplative, poetic Mirror, appears to be his cultural zenith from what I can gather.
It’s almost certainly reductive to call Solaris a “Russian 2001,” but i don’t think it’s an un-apt comparison — Two movies by visionary directors from the two participants of the Space Race envisioning what the vast expanse of space may have in store for humanity. In fact, Solaris may in some ways be a response to 2001, per the essay Inner Space by Phillip Lopate.
We know that Tarkovsky had seen Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and disliked it as cold and sterile. The media played up the cold-war angle of the Soviet director’s determination to make an “anti-2001,” and certainly Tarkovsky used more intensely individual characters and a more passionate human drama at the center than Kubrick. Still, hindsight allows us to observe that the two masterworks are more cousins than opposites. Both set up their narratives in a leisurely, languid manner, spending considerable time tracking around the space sets; both employ a widescreen mise-en-scène approach that draws on superior art direction; and both generate an air of mystery that invites countless explanations.
Unlike 2001, however, Solaris is saturated with grief, which grips the film even before it leaves Earth.
Sounds sad! I can’t wait to discuss it with y’all!
Spoilers for Godzilla Vs. Kong
Idk if anyone else was like me and woke up the morning of the 31st and skipped to the end of Godzilla vs Kong to see who won… let’s just say that I’m very pleased we watched Terror of MechaGodzilla last time.