Watch: Video Essay Details How Andrei Tarkovsky’s 'Solaris' Is A Response To Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'
To paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard, the best way to criticize a movie is to make a movie. This is exactly what Andrei Tarkovsky did when he made “Solaris,” which came out in 1972, four years after Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Surely, Tarkovsky adapted Stanislaw Lem’s novel for a number of different reasons, but the video essay below demonstrates the many ways “Solaris” acts as almost a conscious reaction against the Kubrick film.
READ MORE: Quentin Tarantino Compares ‘Interstellar’ To Andrei Tarkovsky & Terrence Malick
The essay, put together by Kogonada, highlights Tarkovsky’s aim to place the focus on humanity instead of technology. As the video’s narrator points out, Tarkovsky spends little time on the protagonist’s physical journey through space, instead placing a great amount of emphasis on the psychology of these characters and their connection to Earth. Another way Tarkovsky explores the nature of humanity is through love. The “weightlessness” scene is used as a specific example, where the main character is seen floating in a room inside the space station with his “wife.” “Solaris,” the video says, “will be a call to remain human in the face of the unknown, in the face of technological process. More than ever poetry matters, not just science…”
It’s quite the fascinating video and it covers quite a bit of ground in just five brief minutes. So, why not check it out below? [AV Club]
Watch: 75-Minute Video Essay Breaks Down The Making Of Stanley Kubrick's ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
Stanley Kubrick’s perfectionism is nearly as famous as his films. The auteur was notorious for demanding complete creative control over his projects, insisting on numerous takes, clashing with actors, and bickering over final cut. The resulting films, of course, stand as a testament to genius. His perfectionism led to a handful of cinema’s finest works.
READ MORE: Watch: New Video Essays Ask If David Fincher Is The New Stanley Kubrick
To take a more in-depth look at the creation of one particular film, the iconic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Cinema Tyler put together a three part video essay exploring the making of several key elements of the Kubrick classic. “How Kubrick Made 2001: A Space Odyssey” needles in on three of the most essential and innovative moments from ‘2001’: the dawn of man sequence, the Floyd section, and the lunar surface.
Each of the three parts is packed with details about the production and inspiration for scenes and shots, those both consequential and insignificant — which, of course, highlights the care Kubrick put into every frame of his film. One of the more enchanting tidbits is the rumored moment of inspiration for the famous bone to satellite cut, which purportedly came after Kubrick finished filming the skull smashing scene while he was walking back to the studio flipping a broom above his head.
For casual fans and cinephiles alike, the masterful work packed into each scene of ‘2001’ is absolutely riveting, and ‘How Kubrick Made 2001’ peels back the layers to eloquently reveal the genius marionettist behind the curtain, who, no matter how meticulous his plan, never shied away from the strike of inspiration.
Check out all three parts of “How Kubrick Made 2001: A Space Odyssey” below and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.