S4E4M – Solaris (movie)*


Wherein musicians John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline) and John Bombher a/k/a Jaxon (Bury the Machines, I Klatus) return to join me to discuss the film adaptations of “Solaris.” Dole felt that each of the films had its own strengths and weaknesses, but neither really did it for him. Jaxon mentioned that he found himself multitasking while watching the 2002 film because he was bored, while he felt much more interested in the 1972 version despite its own slow pace and long length. Ryan couldn’t recommend a viewing of the Soderbergh movie, but found himself wholly taken over by the Tarkovsy one. 

Despite our appreciation for the acting efforts in the 2002 Soderbergh version, the three of us ultimately felt that the author’s blind assessment as “love in outer space” was a fair take on this film. We all had a greater appreciation for the 1972 Tarkovsky movie. That said, Dole expressed his frustration with the pacing of the 1972 film and he didn’t feel like it had enough going on to justify this. Ryan acknowledged that the older movie was indisputably slow, but felt it was worth it if you could be in the right frame of mind for a viewing. Jaxon appreciated the production elements in Tarkovsky’s film and he particularly enjoyed the supernatural portrayals of the alien-ocean, which were lacking in the newer movie. 

This episode was recorded in Berwyn, Illinois at Horse-Drawn Productions (where Jaxon sometimes records musicians and where Dole, Jaxon and their two other bandmates (Tony Hopper and Mike Fabiano) in “Theurgy” (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Theurgy-233634134183768/) recorded new tracks for their forthcoming debut album. They gave me permission to include another teaser from one of their new songs called “Crack of the Egg,” which is about cracking open your mind to new ideas. Listen in for this fun tune of post-punk dark wave at the end of the episode!




“Solaris (2002)” by Steven Soderbergh (George Clooney) (movie)

Ryan: 2 Stars “…Soderbergh focused too much on classic themes of love and somehow didn’t go far enough with advances in technology, reducing the script to a romantic play on a space station–though the actors did well with the material they were given…

Dole: 2 Stars “…It really annoyed me that now we are changing the whole story line of what is the whole point of this story into, ‘oh no, it’s us against the alien race’…

Jaxon: 1 1/2 Stars “…the acting was fine, but the story wasn’t true to the original book at all and if it was gonna stray that far from it–it at least should have been good…

*** * ***

“Solaris (1972)” by Andrei Tarkovsky (Donatas Banionis) (movie)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…Tarkovsky’s effort is patient, thought provoking and literary with excellent production in complete complement to the deep questions explored within the source material…

Dole: 3 Stars “…It’s hard not to compare this film to 2001…but there is not a lot happening…

Jaxon: 4 Stars “…there are some real slow spots…but I love the art direction, and I love the way that it looked, and I loved that overall theme of…trying to search for something human in something that is not human…”  



This episode was recorded at Horse-Drawn Productions a great recording studio located in Berwyn, Illinois near Chicago: “Horse-Drawn Productions is a multi-faceted music company that has existed for over a decade, and includes two commercial state of the art recording studios, an international production company, a complete studio design & construction team, and employs instructors for music, DAW and computer lessons for individuals and groups.” (from www.horse-drawnproductions.com)

Dole and Jaxon are members band “Theurgy.” You can check out rough cuts of their dark wave style music on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/theurgyband/sets/exit-strategies-rough-mixes?fbclid=IwAR13ja8J6euwpSHXAS05aIFnFuKcbd4z18TGWrMu0JK3c_-4vVW8VDBJlxw.


Below is a photo from Theurgy’s first official live show on April 14, 2019 at the Underground Lounge in Chi-town:


During the episode we mentioned the library scene and paintings hanging in the space station that characters live in above Solaris. For a further discussion on this and the film in general take a look at the article “Out of this World” by Jonathon Jones for the Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/feb/12/featuresreviews.guardianreview11.

Lastly, here is a trailer for the very first cinematic adaption of “Solaris (1968)” by Boris Nirenburg (Vasily Lanovoy) (TV movie), which was released in Russia:


* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.


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