SOLARIS

SOLARIS | ANDREI TARKOVSKY

I recently had a break from a tumultuous year of very hard work on my business and life in general. When I saw that the Film Forum in NYC had an amazing Summer schedule, I decided to pick a few movies to get to. Being one of the last outposts on the cultural disintegration front, as we head full speed into that wonderfully optimistic future of singularity and technocratic sterility, I found it rather fitting that they were showing the 1972 masterpiece Solaris.

As with all of Tarkovsky’s work the film is visually stunning. Every frame reeks of soul-searching truth and magic. The print was heavily scratched up, which actually added to the experience of viewing it in all its cinematic glory on the big screen.

All those who have connected with Solaris know that the poetry speaks volumes without any words. For me the experience goes beyond. It is a spiritual journey that drags you through the mud of this existence so that you may meet with your potentially consciousness-expanded self during the last 45 minutes or so.  Each time I see it, I am mesmerized by its emotional depth and utter beauty.

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The very last frames are dangerously close to how I feel about the whole of life. That longing to look back, reconcile, and comprehend the journey until now. Childhood! Hindsight of life experience that provides the knowledge (and many more questions), which allows us each a unique pathway towards the electricity that has fueled our own engines to keep going. All the while upholding those truths that are indeed universal, or at least seem to be.

Somehow Tarkovsky is able to channel an energy from the universe that feels so rich in guttural response, yet steeped in that meticulously crafted ritual known as art. The end sequence is so well constructed that I’m always left speechless. Layer upon layer of dreamlike images can only be seen as a magnificent attempt at capturing the complexities we feel as we’ve become more disconnected from the natural world and our pasts…Whatever that may be.

Like all great art, Solaris asks the most important questions. Those questions combined with the challenging road of subsistence are what pave the way towards enlightenment.

Does it come from the East (as they believe)? I don’t know. Does it come from the sky or space? I have no idea. Is the world seemingly run by dark forces? I believe so. How dark? Extremely. Is there light within? Most certainly, as is illustrated in this positively poetic film.

Is enlightenment possible? I sure as hell hope so.

Thank you sir, for sharing your individual perspective on this life, the spirit, and beyond…And doing it with so much grace, elegance, and humanity.

-Steve

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