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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 12:21 am 
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miless wrote:
Trees wrote:
For example, with current digital cameras, a monochrome sensor like Red Dragon has actual higher resolution than a color Dragon, because no Bayer pattern is needed. I am not sure if the same is true of chemical monochrome film?

This here is likely the reason, as transferring color film will still require the Bayer filter, but the B&W will not. The other answer may be a difference in the quality of B&W vs Color film stocks (especially in the 70's).

Good points. I hadn't considered about the camera being used for the scan. The SOLARIS restoration I saw is billed as a 2K restoration, which may go further to your theory here. If the restoration had been done in 4K, or at least the scans done in 4K, the 30-40% loss of resolution from a Bayer camera would not have been visible in a 2K projection, like I saw at Cannes. But since both the restoration and the projection were done at 2K, that same 30-40% Bayer penalty would in fact be noticeable. I guess we will have to see what resolution the film was actually scanned at for sure until this theory could be confirmed or refuted. I guess it's always possible that the elements were scanned at 4K and the DI and restoration work were done at 2K. The Youtube video about this new MOSFILM restoration should provide some answers.

I spoke to a friend who is very knowledgeable about film stocks. What he told me is that the black-and-white film stocks used today actually date back to the 1960s, so not much has changed with B&W film stock. Color stocks, on the other hand, have improved dramatically. This might help to explain why some of the B&W shots looked like they could have been film recently, while the color portions looked dated, grainy, and low resolution. He said that back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, B&W was in fact sharper than color stock, for a number of reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:43 am 

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Has someone already bought Solaris new UK issue? What kind transfer on this disc? Old Criterion source or new Mosfilm restoration?


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:54 am 
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I extremely doubt Criterion will do anything else than just porting their existing US discs.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:05 am 
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nils wrote:
Has someone already bought Solaris new UK issue? What kind transfer on this disc? Old Criterion source or new Mosfilm restoration?

I thought the Criterion blu-ray was sourced from a Mosfilm restoration? The digital copy playing at Lincoln Center in a few weeks is from the 2k restoration and is credited to Janus Films. Perhaps I'm mistaken...?


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Drucker wrote:
nils wrote:
Has someone already bought Solaris new UK issue? What kind transfer on this disc? Old Criterion source or new Mosfilm restoration?

I thought the Criterion blu-ray was sourced from a Mosfilm restoration? The digital copy playing at Lincoln Center in a few weeks is from the 2k restoration and is credited to Janus Films. Perhaps I'm mistaken...?

The Mosfilm restoration is very recent, it didn't exist when Criterion issued the blu.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:38 pm 
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It's a strange experience coming to Solaris for the first time, years after initially viewing the Soderbergh re-model. That de'ja' vu one traditionally experiences with any sort of remake was there, but weirdly inverted. I remember coming out of the cinema after first watching the remake (2003-ish) and feeling guarded against my emotions. I had been moved by the film, but I remember reasoning to myself that Tarkovsky's original - which I had not yet seen and was only acquainted with the film-maker's first feature, Ivan's Chilhood - must surely be superior in every way to this Hollywood remake, auteur-director or not? My reasoning behind this was nothing more than youthful snobbishness - I was twenty at the time and, well, Tarkovsky was carved up there on the Mount Rushmore of World Cinema, along with Bergman, Kurosawa and Renoir, right? I kept this in mind when I recently watched the Tarkovsky film solemnly play out for the first time. In the years since I'd seen the remake, I had been exposed to a few more of Tarkovsky's films (Andrei Rublev and The Sacrifice) and had atuned myself to the director's abstract symbolism and oh-so deliberate pacing. Yet, my god, I struggled to find Solaris to be anything more than a slog!

I know Tarkovsky's concerns are weighty and his style able to effortlessly flit between the languorous (that car-journey through the bypass of Tokyo(?) in Act one) and the elliptical (the abrupt cut to Hari's lifeless body after taking the liquid oxygen), yet is there anyone here that finds the film less than the sum of it's (occasionally unique) parts? Pauline Kael once wrote (of The Searchers) that "you can read a lot into it, but it isn't very enjoyable". I think she was wrong about The Searchers, but that quote is one that I would attribute to Tarkovsky's interminable film. The eerie, zonked-out atmosphere on board the station is nicely evoked, with an initial sense of ambiguity and mystery (what the hell has gone on here?), punctuated by the odd eruption of surrealism (where did that dwarf come from? - a moment that shattered the stately seriousness and made me laugh out loud!), but Kris Kelvin is such a cold-fish that when Hari eventually start to materialise, the film has an uphill struggle to emotionally engage the viewer. From this point on,Tarkovsky is content to allow the characters to debate a myriad of themes, existential and metaphysical, while the film begins to tread-water when it should be yielding to the strange currents.

In regard to the Soderbergh version - I feel Kelvin's despatching of the first Hari works a lot better in the remake, where, if I recall, the capsule had some kind of transparent exterior in which we are better able to view the confusion and terror in Natascha McElhone's face as the capsule falls away into orbit. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that front, it's been close to fifteen years since I last saw the remake, but the version of that sequence in the Tarkovsky (where he shuts the panel-door and we don't see her reaction) I found underwhelming in contrast. In fact, if I got anything out of Tarkovsky's film, it's more a desire to reacquaint myself with the Soderbergh version once again!

I've been more than aware how much has been made over the years of Solaris as a Soviet riposte to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey*. There are some excellent digressions on this very board in regard to their thematic similarities, but although the central conceit of human consciousness being 'manipulated' by an external force is something they both share (along with a slow, cerebral pace), I feel that the Tarkovsky film gets too bogged-down in it's own intellectual pretensions, while Kubrick manages to dramatise such musings to a more satisfying, cinematic degree. There are those who will fiercely argue the opposite (and of course this is all subjective as any such personal criticism will be), but what does it ultimately say that I found Kris Kelvin - played by Donatas Banionis, who, with his squashed features and white streak through his hair, resembles Pepe' Le Pew gone to seed - and his third act emotional breakdown to be less convincing or emotionally involving than the single-scene deprogramming of HAL in the Kubrick picture. Maybe it just needed a bit of humour or a song and dance number ('Daisy, Daisy' maybe :D ).

*If anything, Solaris should be more aptly contrasted to Kubrick's The Shining; both are very much 'inner-space' movies, exploring the consequences when the 'ghosts' of personal-memory and conscience are stoked by external (mystical?) forces!


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am
I actually saw this for the first recently on a beat up 35mm print. I guess I'm just perfectly attuned to what Tarkovsky does, especially as this was the only film of his I haven't seen and also having read Sculpting in Time beforehand. Everything felt so perfectly in place, every shot so beautiful. I found the car ride to be riveting. The lengthy car ride makes perfect sense both as an example of the modernisation of the world, as Tarkovsky wrote about how he sees technology eclipsing human emotion (which answers why he found The Terminator brilliant), with the end of the sequence presenting the enormous amount of cars going to and fro. But it also perfectly contradicts the space ship's flight. The car ride is extremely long, the airspace travel barely taking screen time. Its the first instance of Tarkovsky contrasting the life on Earth and the enclosed, dream like and shut off world of Solaris (which for me culminated in all the scenes in the library, with the zero gravity sequence literally taking my breath away).
But as I know fro experience, try rewatching the film in a while, and preferably in a theater if you can. My first at home viewing of The Sacrifice was completely different from my second, theatrically seen viewing.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:31 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:28 pm
The Solaris 2K that is showing at Lincoln Center is a disgrace.

I fully understand that the elements available were probably not good. Could a 4K have been better. I don't know. But if any director deserves 4Ks, it is Tarkovsky.

I've said elsewhere that the 2K Stalker was good to great.

Regarding Solaris we have (1) B&W sequences that are too dark, (2) telltale TV-ish video-y sequences, particularly anything involving white or bright lighting (typical of bad digital) at the Solaris space station, and the neons during the nighttime Tokyo scenes, (3) a possible failure to convert a brief continuous scene before Kelvin travels to Solaris from B&W to color (I may be wrong here so enough said) and (4) the not unusual for older DCPed color films--washed out color, blurriness, etc. Perhaps worst of all, is the poor sound, particularly the crucial Bach theme, repeated approximately 4 times, in each case sounding terrible. Add to to that various (::shudder::) film artifacts and you have a failure not worthy of this director.

The one existing 35mm that I am aware of is quite run down, but has not faded in color at all. So I have to ask, what is the source of the DCP. The translation, with a few exceptions, is absolutely identical to the 35mm.


Last edited by J Adams on Sat May 20, 2017 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:07 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:45 pm
I remember seeing Solaris in a pretty beautiful 35mm print back in 2012. As I recall, the program director at the cinema said in his introductory remarks before the film that this was the second-to-last screening that print was having, before being flown back to Russia. Somehow he made it sound important, though, as if we were some of the last people in the US who were going to be able to see Solaris in 35mm for a little while (or possibly ever).

Anyway, I dunno how true all that was, but the film itself in 35mm was spectacular, really. It was so immersive, and the second half of the film was especially powerful and moving. There's this one shot of (if I recall correctly) a delirious Kris being dragged by the two other men across the station corridors, with those blinding white lights striking the viewer, producing a visceral effect. And of course there are so many wonderful long takes throughout, that often don't even call attention to themselves at all. I admire that.

While I really love Stalker, in the past 5-6 years Solaris has persisted as likely my favorite Tarkovsky film. It's imperfect, more noticeably so than Stalker, but its strengths outweigh those imperfections mostly. For one thing, I feel that the film is almost Lynchian (but before Lynch, natch) in its dreamlike nature and the layering of dubious realities, dreams, memories, etc. As things get weirder and more surreal on the station, the film really begins to take on the feel of a fever dream. It's really a potent picture of grief and of that kind of desperate longing for the Other, which makes it an oddly fitting double-bill with Vertigo. (Rivette's Story of Marie and Julien definitely fits well in the mix, too!)

I love the Tokyo drive sequence, but I do have some problems with what precedes it. Mainly just the whole exposition scene, the TV set with the conference and all this info being delivered -- it's not bad, but it's the kind of talky sequence with only one obvious purpose that almost grinds the movie to a halt... it's as if Andrei just wanted to get all the annoying plot and sci-fi details and exposition out of the way immediately, so he dumped it all in this lengthy, somewhat monotonous scene. If that conference scene was shortened drastically or the most important info delivered some other way (somehow someone telling something to Kris is fine, but 'forcing' us to watch this conference with it all laid out kind of takes me out of the film-world), it'd work better as a whole. More generally, if the whole movie was more consistently visual/non-verbal/poetic like its best moments invariably are, then it'd be closer to a perfect film. But, it doesn't really matter. It's a film that touches me deeply. And I do think that Kris's little home (his father's home?) is one of my favorite settings in cinema (along with the eerie, decrepit space station, of course).


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:26 am 
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J Adams wrote:
The one existing 35mm that I am aware of is quite run down, but has not faded in color at all. The ending of this particular 35mm is a bit choppy, but, OMG, so is the DCP. So I have to ask, what is the source of the DCP. The translation, with a few exceptions, is absolutely identical to the 35mm.

The original negative, according to Lincoln Center's website. It's more likely that the creation of the DCP itself was botched, as the restoration itself has been up on Youtube since January here, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Mungo wrote:
J Adams wrote:
The one existing 35mm that I am aware of is quite run down, but has not faded in color at all. The ending of this particular 35mm is a bit choppy, but, OMG, so is the DCP. So I have to ask, what is the source of the DCP. The translation, with a few exceptions, is absolutely identical to the 35mm.

The original negative, according to Lincoln Center's website. It's more likely that the creation of the DCP itself was botched, as the restoration itself has been up on Youtube since January here, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

In the Stalker thread people said the sepia sequences were blown out in the DCP at Lincoln Center, whereas the youtube video of the new restoration looks just fine. So maybe it's the DCP, or perhaps it's Lincoln Center's projector?


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 12:09 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:28 pm
Lincoln Center has excellent DCP capabilities. They may have projected the sound too low, but it still sounded distorted to me.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:31 pm
Is this OOP? It's going for crazy prices on amazon.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:37 pm 
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No.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:39 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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You should trade your sealed copy in for $24 and then just re-buy in a few weeks and make ~$5 painless profit


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:54 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
You should trade your sealed copy in for $24 and then just re-buy in a few weeks and make ~$5 painless profit

Sadly, that trade value is only for a sealed copy, it's $16.40 if not (which is still not too shabby!)


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Please make sure to re-view your bluray copies of Solaris. There have been reports of freezing after the 2:00.08 mark and skipping until Chapter 27! Experienced it this past weekend. No bronzing! In the process of requesting a replacement since this is not on the list of defective discs with bronzing.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:57 am 
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Saw a theatrical screening of this again after not seeing it for about 13 years and only seeing Ivan's Childhood inbetween which I also enjoyed.

One item I do not see very often brought up with the film, which may be a unique experience to myself is that the first part of Solaris is not boring but uncharacteristically intense or uneasy part of the film that is not dissimilar to one would get from other science fiction films like The Thing or Invasion of the Bodysnatchers with the experience of what occurred on the satellite outside Solaris being vague and threatening. I know this is not something that the average Tarkovsky fan or probably even a Stanisław Lem fan is interested in.

It was something I had forgotten initially watching it over a decade ago that hit me again as a memory I first had when watching it, I forgot that it was how I felt all those years ago. It reminded me as well that I forgot what happened in between the ending and shortly after
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Hari returns a second time.
I was not ready for that kind of film back then, but I guess after seeing far more cinema since I was more prepared for the rhythm of it this time and equally appreciated these scenes now. What strange, human, and wonderful film!


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:45 am 
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Reeniop41 wrote:
Please make sure to re-view your bluray copies of Solaris. There have been reports of freezing after the 2:00.08 mark and skipping until Chapter 27! Experienced it this past weekend. No bronzing! In the process of requesting a replacement since this is not on the list of defective discs with bronzing.


Thanks for the warning--our media library copy has basically the same problem you describe. I've emailed about getting a replacement. My own personal copy at home plays fine, though.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:45 am 
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Mine starts freezing at like 2:00:30.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:14 pm 
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My copy still plays fine.


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 Post subject: Re: 164 Solaris
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:34 am
me too, no sign of "bronzing" like it was the case with Walkabout (by the way Walkabout had always a skipping/frame problem from the beginning, and the bronzing was visually obvious (and progressively increasing).

I can check the ID/matrix of my blu-ray "Solaris" and post it there.
The thing is that I bought it day-one, so I was a bit afraid when I read this thread because I'm not sure that they pressed "Solaris" when they released it at 2 different plants...


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