I don't want to turn Vintage Image of the Day into Obituary-Related Image of the Day, but the opportunity to share a photo from this particular film was too tempting. Science-fiction author Stanislaw Lem died on Monday after battling heart disease, at age 84. A number of his novels were translated into English and were quite popular ... and a few were adapted into films. The best-known movies adapted from Lem's work are probably the 1972 Russian film Solaris and Steven Soderbergh's 2002 remake.

I've never seen the original Solaris, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. In college, I fell asleep watching Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice, and decided that the Russian director's deliberately paced films were not to my taste. A few years later, I had much better luck with Andrei Rublev, so perhaps I was wrong. The variety of striking images from Solaris, such as the one above, and universally glowing reviews make me feel that I really ought to give the film a fair trial.

However, my increased interest in the material doesn't extend to Soderbergh's version of Solaris. My sister, who is no science-fiction fan, saw it simply because she'd heard the film included some, er, rather revealing shots of George Clooney. She reported that it wasn't worth suffering through such a dull movie for the scant reward of a few glimpses of her favorite film star unclothed. Obviously, she was not the target audience. Although I am a science-fiction fan who also enjoys the films of Soderbergh and the many attributes of Clooney, I think I'll start with Tarkovsky's film.
categories Features, Cinematical