Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
Ahh, missed that one.
Finally got around to watching it on the DVR. It's a good thing it had a break in the middle, because I needed to watch it in two parts. It was interesting, and I tried not to hold the slow pace against it, since that was clearly a deliberate artistic choice. Still, some parts of it did seem arbitrarily prolonged. I don't get the point of that endless driving sequence they did early on.
Nor did I understand the logic behind the transitions from color to black & white. Initially it was clear enough, to distinguish "now" footage from recorded or onscreen footage, but then it just became seemingly random whether a given portion was in color or monochrome. Then the second half was mostly in color except for the dream sequence and the penultimate Solaris flyover where Kris was voiceover-philosophizing, so that kind of made sense. But in the middle there, what the hey?
I liked the actress who played Hari, Natalya Bondarchuk. Not as lovely as Natascha McElhone from the 2002 version, but similar-looking. I wonder if McElhone was cast for her resemblance to Bondarchuk.
The commentary on the Criterion disc discusses this. As I recall -- someone with the disc on hand can check -- the historians point out that the driving sequences were shot on location in Japan, an unusually expensive move for a Soviet film. Tarkovsky possibly kept them in because he wanted to show his backers where all the money went. Moreover, at the time, the city (Tokyo? Bad memory at work here.) was pretty futuristic.
Apparently, Tarkovsky cut out the score from those sequences at the last minute, which don't do them any favors. The historians on the commentary agree that it's the most problematic portion of the movie, and I agree.
I was sort of wondering if it was a satire of the 2001 Stargate sequence -- an interminable scene of lights zooming past. "My God -- it's full of cars!" (And yes, I know that line wasn't added until the sequel, but I can never resist a lame pun.)
And yes, Wikipedia says it was a suburb of Tokyo.
TCM celebrates the end of the world on Friday with doomsday movies.
0700a The Lost Missile
0830a The Satan Bug
1030a The Last Man on Earth
1200p The Bed Sitting Room
0400p Panic in Year Zero
0600p The World, The Flesh and the Devil
A lot of post-nuclear movies on that list. Oh, for the good old days when people actually had a sane, realistic reason to expect the end of the world instead of silly superstitions.
No, wait, those were the bad old days. Hooray for silly superstitions!
Okay, somebody at TCM has an inspired sense of humor!
Cool. It's been quite a dry spell at TCM. And I think there's a couple on that list that I haven't seen.
They're actually showing The Bed-Sitting Room at noon ... that'll confuse the frak out of a lot of casual afternoon viewers!!
I don't think she looked like McElhone, but I liked her too. She's a dead ringer for someone I used to know.
New Year's Update
Friday Jan 04
0800p Creature From the Black Lagoon
1100p The Incredible Shrinking Man
1230a It Came From Outer Space
I skimmed through, looks like slim pickings this month.
The ramp up to Halloween has begun.
Ah, a tribute to Richard Arnold, I'm guessing.
^You mean Jack Arnold, the director of all those films, right? (Although I get why a Trek novelist would make that particular slip.)
I don't think I've seen Tarantula in quite a while and I don't have it on DVD, so I'll tape that one.
I'm deciding whether to record "It Came From Outer Space." Don't know much about it and want to avoid spoilers. Any recommendations?
I think it's one of the better '50s B-movies. Ray Bradbury was involved in the writing, and... well, if I said the main thing I liked about it, that would be a spoiler. Let's just say it's not your conventional Red-Scare-era alien invasion movie.
Plus, it features the Professor from "Gilligan's Island"!
Be aware, however, that it was orignally released in 3-D (like "The Creature from the Black Lagoon"). So don't be surprised if meteors come zooming at the screen!
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