TV Cream

Films: S is for...

Solaris

Russian answer to 2001, and much better than Kubrick’s overpraised sketch show, to boot, we say. Three cosmonauts orbit a sentient watery planet, which slowly turns them insane with tactile hallucinations from their past. Slowly being the operative word, as this takes the same “glacial” pace as Ol’ Stanley (in one heavily solarised sequence – it was the seventies, colour separation – our hero takes all of five minutes to drive down the road), but here that makes for an atmosphere of claustrophobia and apprehension, rather than of “that’s a nice model – when’s Leonard Rossiter on, then?” Plus, where 2001 resembled an extended Tomorrow’s World “we’ll all be living here in twenty years” feature circa 1968, the motheaten Russian space gear in this looks more like the studio equipment used to film one.

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