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Second Solaris

For the second evening in a row, we watched Solaris. If you read my previous psot, you'll that there was some confusion about whether or not George Clooney would appear in the 1972 Russian masterpiece. This time it was immediately clear that George Clooney would be appearing because we were watching the 2002 adaption of Solaris from acclaimed director of Magic Mike and The Ocean's 11 franchise Steven Soderbergh.

Solaris 2 (002) is unusual in that it doesn't flounder under the weight of it's hugely successful predecessor. It manages to stand by itself, and provides a very different, but still enjoyable, cinematic experience.

But first things first, Solaris 2 lacks the visual splendour of the original, it's cinematography is workmanlike. Everyone on earth looks like they're in a music video made by David Bowie and Trent Reznor. The film is weirdly rushed, George Clooney doesn't even agree to go to space - someone just suggests it and then he's there. The film just hasn't stuck in my thoughts in anything like the same way as the Tarkovsky flick. But it's stll good! It has some interesting twists, and brings different elements of the Solaris experience to the fore.

The best thing about the film is, I think, that the only piece of licensed music in it is an Insane Clown Posse song. When Clooney first arrives on the space station, he meets Dr. Snow, who is messing with computers and listening to the ICP. We later find out that he is a Solarian replica, not a real human. I absolutely adore the idea that after being constructed from memories, with no real understanding of humanity, totally isolated on a space station, this alien being would decide to listen to ICP. Is Sonderbergh trying to tell us something about which of our cultural artifacts are truly valuable?


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