Aesthics within Solaris and the clip

November 10, 2009

In this entry I aim to produce evidence that facilitates in showcasing aspects that Tarkovsky has used regarding the visual side of Solaris.

It can be visibly noted that Tarkovsky approached the appearance of the film with an appreciation stemming from the artistic angle of the cinematic spectrum. He has obviously been influenced by ‘high art’ such as fine art paintings (Rembrandt’s ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’) and classical music (the score incorporates JS Bach’s Chorale prelude in F minor) given, his fusion of both these mediums incorporated into Solaris. This suggests that Solaris was the director’s answer to producing a film equivalent to characteristics associated of such stature. The most evident example of this is the film’s final sequence that is a symbolic reconstruction of Rembrandt’s painting ‘The Return of the Prodigcal Son’.

This climactic conclusion comprises of Kelvin clasping his father in an overwhelmed state, captured through a wide angle crane shot that tracks backwards, revealing Earth and Solaris as one.

Solaris_72-prodigalmovie

A still from the final sequence of Solaris [Sourced online] from

http://www.cinemademerde.com/Solaris_72-prodigalmovie.gif  [Accessed 8th November]

Painting, ‘The return of the prodigal son’, by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1662 [Sourced online] from

http://jessecox.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/rembrandt-return-of-the-prodigal-son1.jpg [Accessed 8th November]

Below Vlad Strukov writes about how Rembrandt’s painting is invisioned in Tarkovsky’s thought process:

“when the worlds of earth and solaris merge, it is the father that connects them in an act of transcending consiousness. By visually recreating Rembrandt’s “The Return Of The Prodigal Son, circa 1662, Tarkovsky affirms that he is interested in exploring the role of the father in the production and diffusion of knowledge.” [A section from the book Tarkovksy (25th February 2008) by Vlad Strukov, Edited by Nathan Dunne published by Black Dog Publishing, London page 68]

The above quote determines that as well as the influence of art, Tarkovksy’s initial reason for using a well established painting as the forefront of  his conclusion to solaris, was to represent the symbology of the role of  Kris and his relationship with his father. in addition it borders on not only the paternal relationship but  how this affects the people around him and how his actions have affected Hari.  Moreover, during the clip Kris’s dialogue  could be seen as his character releasing the worry he has over the people he has left back at earth. Again, the line “suffering makes life seem suspect” can be construed as Kris’ acknowledgment of the fact that when he returns to earth, his father would have died, already being taken gravely ill before Kris’ departure on the mission. However as the line of dialogue fortifies his questioning over the principality of life and death of the people he cares about, at the end of the film he is reunited with his father alive and well, the intial emotion is that of an over-powering emotional discord, where he is not sure if he has returned to Earth or if it is his subconscious vision of the ideal, produced by Solaris.

Further inquiry:

Can this ‘artistic’ input make Tarkovsky an auteur conscious of the high art culture around him, or does it deviate from the initial plot of Solaris?

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