New Release: Solaris (1972) Blu-ray and DVD

Solaris movie scene

Donatas Banionis gets cosmic with Natalya Bondarchuk in Solaris.

Criterion gave Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 science-fiction movie epic Solaris a makeover for its Blu-ray debut and DVD reissue on May 24, 2011. Criterion first released the film on DVD edition back in 2002.

In Solaris, the late, great Russian filmmaker Tarkovsky (Andrei Rublev) gives audiences an inner sci-fi journey to contrast the cosmos-spanning trip that Kubrick made with 2001 a few years earlier.

For those unfamiliar with Solaris, it goes like this: Ground control has been receiving strange transmissions from the remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) is sent to investigate, he experiences the strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew … a kind of hard dreaming that comes from the depths of the dreamer.

The movie is heady and tough, but intelligent and original.

Solaris got a high-definition digital restoration for the new release, and the Blu-ray sports an uncompressed monaural soundtrack.

The Blu-ray and DVD carry the list prices of $39.95 and $29.95, respectively.

Here’s a list of the bonus features, all of which were carried over from the 2002 edition:

  • audio essay by Andrei Tarkovsky scholars Vida Johnson and Graham Petrie, coauthors of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue
  • nine deleted and alternate scenes
  • video interviews with actress Natalya Bondarchuk, cinematographer Vadim Yusov, art director Mikhail Romadin, and composer Eduard Artemyev
  • excerpt from a documentary about Stanislaw Lem, the author of the film’s source novel
  • booklet featuring an essay by critic Phillip Lopate and an appreciation by director Akira Kurosawa


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.