Saturday, May 03, 2003
Solaris - Chris Kelvin and Rheya Kiss


Men are from Mars, Women are from Betelgeuse

Blade Runner meets Memento in a film about the memories of love.



The concept that ‘down is a melting pot and up is a solo flight’ is intriguing. To be specific: Hell is where you are assimilated into the screaming whole and lose all essence that separates you from those around you; Heaven is a glorious kingdom where we exist alongside, but separate from, everyone else. According to the Bible, Hell isn’t the labor camp with demons overseeing that we see in Far Side cartoons. Satan, the fallen angels, and damned humans are all on the same level (punching a big hole in the Dante). In Heaven, however, God, Angels, and Humans exist in very differant roles. God sits on a big throne, with trees on either side and a big river in front of him; Angels sing, play trumpets, harps, etc.; Humans live in mansions and can do whatever they want (at this point, the physical [sinful] body has been replaced by a glorified [Holy] body).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04 May 03 at 04:30 PM

Taking it for granted that Soderbergh is telling us that love is a mystery so we all need to plunge down into the alien planet with our significant other so that we can eat it all up, where is Soderbergh leaving us for human relationships? I guess he intends this ending to be an upper of sorts. But I’m not sure. Kelvin is tortured throughout the movie by doubt about his ability to really know this person that he thinks so highly of (Rheya) as evidenced by the fact that Rheya keeps on failing as a personality so smashingly. It’s not the fact that the memories implanted in Rheya are foreign, its just that they are memories through the eyes of Kelvin.
So that said, Soderbergh seems to leave us with a God figure (Solaris the Planet) as being neccessary to fix the relational disfunction in Kelvin’s heart. This interpretation smacks me as being strikingly Christian. However, Soderbergh is in that great tradition of directors/humanists for hire. With that in mind, what can we say about Solaris and it’s commentary on love?

Posted by mallis on 05 May 03 at 08:54 PM

Some people don’t seem to realize that this movie is a re-make of a 1972 Russian film by Tarkovsky, based on a book by Stanislaw Lem. 

Maybe there are some veiled references to communism in the film as well? 

Both versions have their strengths, but Soderbergh hasn’t added much to the plot, so I wouldn’t credit him too much.

It’s a bit insulting to state that this movie couldn’t have been possible without Blade Runner available as inspiration, since it pre-dates Blade Runner by 10 years.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 19 Sep 04 at 01:31 AM

Thank you. I was gonna point out the fact that this is a re-make that predates Blade Runner by quite a bit, but it looks like I was beat to the punch. Glad someone else recognized that.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 13 Sep 11 at 11:08 PM
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