WHERE UNC Charlotte Center City Building (320 E. 9th Street)
ADMISSION is FREE but donations are welcome.
Based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem, SOLARIS centers on widowed psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donata Banionis), who is sent to a space station orbiting a water-dominated planet called Solaris to investigate the mysterious death of a doctor, as well as the mental problems plaguing the dwindling number of cosmonauts on the station. Finding the remaining crew to be behaving oddly and aloof, Kelvin is more than surprised when he meets his seven-years-dead wife Khari (Natalya Bondarchuk) on the station. It quickly becomes apparent that Solaris possesses something that brings out repressed memories and obsessions within the cosmonauts on the space station, leaving Kelvin to question his perception of reality.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, Solaris was remade by Steven Soderbergh in 2002.
“Andrei Tarkovsky spins a strange, slow but absorbing parable on life and love in the guise of a sci-fi theme.” – Variety
“More an exploration of inner than of outer space, Tarkovsky’s eerie mystic parable is given substance by the filmmaker’s boldly original grasp of film language and the remarkable performances by all the principals.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
“A dazzlingly imaginative work with awesome production values and special effects that bear comparison to those of ’2001.’” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“An amazing celluloid poem by a filmmaker whom Ingmar Bergman called ‘the greatest.’” – Michael Wilington, Chicago Tribune
Considered one of Russiaâ€™s most distinguished contemporary directors, the late Andrei Tarkovsky is known for highly personalized and poetic films. The son of poet Arseni Tarkovsky, he studied Arabic and first worked as a geologist before attending the State Film School in Moscow under Mikhail Romm. While there he made a pair of short films, â€śThere Will Be No Leave Todayâ€ť (1959) and the acclaimed Katok i Skripka/The Steamroller and the Violin (his diploma film). Following graduation in 1960, Tarkovsky went to work for Mosfilm and made his feature-film directorial debut in 1962 with Ivanovo Detstvo/Ivanâ€™s Childhood. The film earned him top honors at that yearâ€™s Venice Film Festival. His sophomore film, Andrei Rublev, is Tarkovskyâ€™s most renowned work. Ostensibly a portrait of a 15th century Russian painter, the film is actually a metaphorical drama mirroring the plight of Russian artists. Some have expanded the filmâ€™s parable to reflect the dramatic effects of war and chaos upon humanity. Many critics consider this film Tarkovskyâ€™s masterpiece, but though it was made in 1966, problems with Soviet censors deferred its release until 1971. The film won a FIPRESCI award at Cannes and brought Tarkovsky to the forefront of international cinema. His 1976 film Zerkalo/The Mirror, with its open-ended narrative and interesting camera techniques, was very popular among Russian intellectuals. An intimate, multi-layered autobiographical story in which the time frames fluidly move forward and backwards, it reflects Tarkovskyâ€™s dreams and his experiences growing up in an artistâ€™s community under Stalinâ€™s rule. It is considered by many a subjective companion piece to Ivanovo Detstvo, which looked objectively at a boyâ€™s experience growing up during the WWII era. In the early â€™80s, Tarkovsky started making films outside of Soviet Russia. But though he would make films in Italy, Sweden, and London, they would remain uniquely Russian in subject and tone. In 1984, Tarkovsky was unable to get formal permission to remain abroad and learned that should he return to Moscow that he would no longer be allowed to make films, so he defected to Western Europe. In 1986, he made his final film, Offret/The Sacrifice. The film won a Special Jury Prize at Cannes. Later that year, Tarkovsky died in Paris of lung cancer.