In the Dark

The Sorrows of Solipsism

Produced by James Cameron and 20th Century Fox
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Screenplay by Steven Soderbergh from Stanislaw Lem’s novel
Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Produced by Propaganda Films
Directed by Spike Jonze
Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman from The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris is the first film I have seen in decades that portrays the terrifying consequences of abortion.  For this, Soderbergh deserves congratulations, although I am not sure why he has dragged us into space to sound the alarm.  Perhaps it is too dangerous a thought to share on Earth these days.

Solaris is an adaptation of an adaptation.  Soderbergh has taken Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 film of the same title, which was itself an adaptation of a 1961 novel by Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem.  Soderbergh seems to have used Tarkovsky’s film as his template and then cut its 169-minute metaphysical rumination to a 110-minute romance, rendering his Solaris an austere, cryptic meditation on love, its challenges and delusions.  While beautifully shot and often moving, it is ultimately too elliptical for its own good.  Although Soderbergh’s...

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