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Solaris (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1972)

Natalya Bondarchuk , Juri Jarvet , Andrei Tarkovsky  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)

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Blu-ray The Criterion Collection $22.99  
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The Criterion Collection's release of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic is available for pe-order on Blu-ray. This title releases May 27th, 2014. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Actors: Natalya Bondarchuk, Juri Jarvet, Donatas Banionis, Anatoli Solonitsin, Vladislav Dvorzhetsky
  • Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NWPY34
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,250 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Solaris (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

Audio essay by Andrei Tarkovsky scholars Vida Johnson and Graham Petrie, coauthors of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue

Nine deleted and alternate scenes

Video interviews with actress Natalya Bondarchuk, cinematographer Vadim Yusov, art director Mikhail Romadin, and composer Eduard Artemyev

Excerpt from a documentary about Stanislaw Lem, the author of the film’s source novel

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Phillip Lopate and an appreciation by director Akira Kurosawa

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

Criterion issued a double disc of Andrei Tarkovsky's haunting Solaris in 2002, so what's new about this 2011 release? The actual transfer of the film, that's what: this hi-def version is absolutely lush in its colors and textures, from the eerie waving of underground reeds in the Earth sequences to the swirling oceans of the planet Solaris. The difference could be a game-changer, even if you're already a fan of the film; when a director seeks to put you through a complete aural-visual experience, the detail is everything. The other special features are retained from the previous Criterion set, and they are definitive: half-hour interviews with the marvelously descriptive actress Natalya Bondarchuck and cinematographer Vadim Yusov, a 16-minute interview with art director Mikhail Romadin (who remembers Tarkovsky's reaction to seeing the great special effects of 2001: "Let's make ours look like a broken-down old bus and not a futuristic fantasy"), and a 21-minute talk with the film's inventive composer, Eduard Artemyev. About 25 minutes of alternate or deleted scenes are interesting if not essential. The commentary track, with Graham Petrie and Vida Johnson, is formal but informed, and Phillip Lopate's essay sets the table nicely. --Robert Horton

Product Description

Ground control has been receiving strange transmissions from the remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is sent to investigate, he experiences the strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew, sending him on a voyage into the darkest recesses of his own consciousness. In Solaris, the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev) gives us a brilliantly original science-fiction epic that challenges our conceptions about love, truth, and humanity itself.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Russian films ever! October 19, 2004
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
It also compares it with the version released by the Russian Cinema Council (RUSCICO)

Solaris, released as Solyaris in Russia, is among my favorite Russian films, and my favorite film by Andrei Tarkovsky. It is based on the sci-fi novel by Stanislaw Lem. It is been considered a Russian version of 2001 A Space Odyessy. While some consider it to be the polar opposite.

An interesting note is that the Criterion Collection edition was released exacltly one day before the theactrical release of the 2002 remake directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney.

It is about a space station orbiting an apparently sentient planet. The planet has the capability of reading the minds of the scientists aboard the space station and created 'doubles' of people from their past. When a psychologist comes aboard to investigate, he is confounded by the recreation of his dead wife.

It is a great film. Although it is slow paced, it has some excelent and unique cinematography. One example is one scene near the begining of the film where it focuses on raindrops landing in a full teacup. The special effects in this film are quite impressive given the time, place, and budget of filming. To top it off the film's score includes a superb rendition of J.S. Bach's Choral Prelude in F Minor, "Ich ruf zu' dir Herr Jesu Christ" BWV 639.

There are some subltle differences betweent he Criterion DVD and the RUSCICO DVD. The most noticable is a 5 minute POV scene of driving through the streets of a city. The scene is in both color and B&W. In the RUSCICO version part of the scene segues from B&W to color. on the Criterion DVD this part is solely in color.
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95 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Masterpiece March 28, 2005
This film is long, poignant, interesting, haunting, dazzling to the eye, and actually quite scary. While watching it late one night, I found myself alone on the first floor of my house, and I must admit, I kept searching the room in fright after every little noise I heard. It's not a horror movie, but it rolls along at a slow, atmospheric, creepy-crawly pace.

One bonus of the film being so long with big spaces between dialogue, it gives you the opportunity to switch to the informative commentary track, to hear some interesting insight into the film. While most other movies you MUST watch it with the commentary off to be able to take it all in correctly, you can actually get away with switching back and forth without missing too much of the actual film. One part of the commentary I disagreed with was when the male narrator noted that in the scene where Satorius takes the gauze off Hari's finger and tosses it, that he is doing this because of contamination. One can clearly see by his expression and manner in doing this, that he is being sarcastic as he knows that Hari does not need a bandage, because the wound will simply regenerate and heal in a matter of minutes. There is also a sense of his envy toward her because Kelvin gets to have a doppleganger of his wife to somewhat enjoy, while Satorius only has dwarfs to deal with.

I think the scenes on Earth are gorgeous and completely necessary. Hoever, had they not been there like in the book, the movie would have been 2 hours instead of 2 hours and 40 minutes (a much easier time for mainstream audiences to grasp). I wouldn't trade it for a shorter run time at all.
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66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rent this unless you know you're ready for it November 24, 2002
First of all, this 2-disc Criterion "special edition" of Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 film _Solaris_ is clearly intended to capitalize on Steven Soderbergh's American remake. I'm not sure whether either will succeed; Soderbergh's version is an art film masquerading as a Christmas movie, and I think it's fair to say that those who can't stand the original won't much like the remake.
Tarkovsky's _Solaris_ has suffered unfairly from facile comparisons with Kubrick's _2001: A Space Odyssey_. The two films are deeply opposed in both tone and content, though on the most superficial level, the pace of both films makes them appear rather similar. That said, Tarkovsky's elliptical, nostalgic work stands very well on its own.
The first forty-five minutes of _Solaris_ are slow going, even by Tarkovsky's glacial standards. (They're also profoundly important to subsequent action, so don't even try to skip them.) Once the action shifts to the mysterious space station, the story quickly sinks its hooks into you and doesn't let go for an instant, up to its mysterious and unsettling conclusion.
Criterion's video and audio transfers are dependably high-quality, though in this case far from flawless. The extras on Disc 2 consist mostly of dull interviews with cast and crew (though, in a notable omission, there is no interview with Tarkovsky himself). But the audio commentary on Disc 1 with film scholars Vida Johnson and Graham Petrie is absolutely indispensible (at least, if you're into this sort of academic analysis). As is usually the case with Criterion, the extras are directed chiefly at hard-core film buffs and scholars.
Some critics have noted that _Solaris_ is Tarkovsky's most commercial film, although in terms of his oeuvre that term is strictly relative.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
Video performed well. It was received on time. The story is wonderfully weird. I enjoyed comparing the storytelling to the G. Clooney version.
Published 1 month ago by Sharon M. Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars A few comments in praise of Solaris and Andrei Tarkovsky...
After reading the one star reviews of this wonderful 1972 film I have some points to make:

If you do not already have a sense of the Russian method of storytelling then... Read more
Published 2 months ago by xxgrendelxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I thought this movie was a lot like 2001: A Space Odyssey. I like it that Russia also has something interesting about space. It is interesting to watch a Russian movie.
Published 2 months ago by Vytautas Baronas Leita
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Criterion Collection
First, the Visual of this Bluray is worse or at best same as the DVD version.
I wanted to buy this Bluray because the DVD version was separated into two DVD discs. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hee Chul Kwon
This 1972 science fiction Soviet-era film is another epic by Tarkovsky done in traditional Russian style, meaning that it has a slow War-and-Peace-style pace. Read more
Published 3 months ago by The Curmudgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, beautiful, artful, tragic, deeper than deep
The movie is not for everyone. Almost hurts me to read negative reviews on this masterpiece. Unlike most movies it's not intended to be consumed/swallowed and be "done with... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Natalya Tarasova
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful film version of the book by Stanislaus Lem
This version may evoke the atmosphere Lem would have preferred to communicate his theme of humankind's inability to transmit utterances with deep meaning to hypothesized non-human... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bill
1.0 out of 5 stars awful boring
book is great, but skip this version of the movie which is boring and . and on top of it all it's really long!
Published 6 months ago by Sarah Sweedler
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly an amazing film and restoration (Blu-Ray)
Absolutely stellar... The CC BRay jumps off the screen. Probably one of the best restoration jobs I've ever seen. Hats off!
Published 6 months ago by J. Morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
Long story short: The plot is straightforward and completely followable. The characters make sense. The central idea is interesting. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Benjamin McCormack
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