By Film Threat Staff | November 18, 2002

To celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, not to mention the release of the American remake, Kino International and Landmark Theatres present the complete, uncut version of Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris,” in its full running time of 167 minutes, with a newly revised and more articulate English translation and high-quality LVT laser subtitles at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles, November 22-28.
Andrei Tarkovsky turned to a novel by Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem for his third feature, “Solaris,” completed in 1972. Film critic Penelope Houston called the film, “Russia’s answer to “2001,” not in its display of space hardware but in the speculative quality of its ideas.” Tarkovsky was not attracted to science fiction per se, but instead to the ethical questions that arose in the novel. He even contemplated “transferring the entire story to Earth,” which is “where” the film opens – in the sylvan country home of a scientist, Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis). Unusual phenomena have been reported on the planet Solaris, and he’s been called upon to investigate.
In 1972, “Solaris” was awarded the Special Jury Prize at Cannes. It finally opened in New York at the Zeitgeist Theatre in the fall of 1976, but in a version cut by 35 minutes from the Cannes original. The cutting was done in the U.S. by an independent editor hired by the local distributor, without the director’s approval. More regrettably, a print circulating in the 1980’s on the U.S. repertory cinema circuit consisted of cannibalized subtitles and an even shorter running time. In 1989, Kino International debuted in the U.S. the original 167 minute director’s cut. For this 2002 reissue, a newly revised and more articulate English translation has been produced.

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