Lately whenever I can’t sleep I turn on “Solaris” (the one starring George Clooney). What scares me the most about this film is that it was made in 2002, which makes me want to wring my hands and wonder what I’ve been doing with my life. The rest of this post is going to contain spoilers, and if you haven’t seen this movie that came out eight years ago that was based on a film that came out in the seventies then it’s really not my fault oh and PS in The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Larry Flynt won.
SOLARIS. George Clooney, for reasons I still don’t understand, is apparently the only guy in the world can go into space to save astronauts from themselves. Head astronaut dude says something like, “Something weird is happening and we’re fucked” and Clooney says, “Where are the security people?” and they said, “We sent them but they apparently never made it, no big deal” and Clooney says, “SIGN ME UP!” He doesn’t really ask for more details, which baffles me. It would take a lot more to get my ass into space.
Off Clooney goes into space. Once there, he walks around the ship in painful long shots and doesn’t float or anything. The who played Daniel Faraday, from Lost, is there, pretty much playing Daniel Faraday. I like the guy but something about his acting always makes me think, “I bet this is how he did in the audition.” I’m not sure what that means…something about his gestures, the way he trails off and leaves his hand figuring something out in midair, it seems so done, it always says “audition room” to me. Anyway that dude is there being all weird and disconnected and bearded.
By the way I’m still not sure what Solaris is, is if it’s the name of the ship, the mission, or the weird purply thing that I thought was the sky around them. Oh but the important thing is that Clooney’s dead wife randomly shows up on the ship. He freaks out at first. It’s not like he brought her body and it got reanimated. It’s like her, but not her. I’m not sure if this thing that is her was ever alive. It’s solid and visible but beyond that who knows. There’s also a little child running around. I think Solaris is doing this. But I wouldn’t know because no one has the courtesy of shouting, “GODDAMN IT SOLARIS!” to let me know. But the head ship lady is all like, “This thing is not your wife” and Clooney gets sassy and is like, “YOU’RE not my wife” and she’s like “We’re not bringing it back” and he’s like, “SHE’S GOT NOWHERE ELSE TA GOOOOOOO” except that was Richard Gere from that movie I’ve never seen, I only know this because of VH1’s ‘I love the 80s’ part 600. Again, if someone around this point could just frustratedly shout, “ARGHH, SOLARIS!” that would have been really helpful.
This movie is not a comedy. But it’s funny. When Deadwife first shows up, Clooney leads her into this little getaway pod, and she’s all wondrous and happy climbing inside, and then her face falls as the pod pulls back into space and Clooney has this expression on like, “Ahhh Solaris what have you done to me” and “I wonder how long we’re shooting this fucking thing tonight” and it’s all very funny in a David Lynch does cowboys sort of way.
This movie is haunted and strange but it’s also muddled and boring which is maybe why I’ve never seen the end. I keep falling asleep and then I have to watch what I missed as I was falling asleep to try to ease the confusion of it all, but I still don’t know what’s happening.
Sometimes it’s clear, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s weird. But ultimately it’s probably not as bad as I think it is. And that’s when I realized that sometimes, life is kind of like a weird movie like Solaris. (Except with life the great thing is, if I don’t understand something, I can ask for clarification. I don’t have to just sit back and view and wonder how many David Lynch movies Steven Soderbergh saw before he thought, “Yes, this is the style I will dress my little movie in.”) As with life, stuff happens and you think, huh that’s weird. Maybe it’s not finding dead Daniel Faraday in an over-sized overhead compartment bin. Or maybe it is, I don’t know what you do in your free time. But things happen that we can’t explain and there is a certain orchestrated beauty in this. I am starting to find this beauty and I am starting to look for the good before I look for the bad. I have to put more good out there than bad if I want to get more good than bad in return. And with life, as with Solaris, I can take it in pieces and I don’t have to know how it’s going to end.
I don’t know if I even need to see the end of this film. It’s probably going to turn out that he was dead the whole time, or he never existed, or he dreamed the whole thing, or it cuts to the cast of ER back when they were in their choice time slot and thinking, “Fuck you, Clooney.” I don’t know. I love Twin Peaks with all my heart but honestly? I’ve never seen season two. I have it. But it’s unopened. Because if I watch it, then the whole thing is over, forever. I don’t want Twin Peaks to end. Perhaps though it’s finally time for me to grow up.
I’ll probably just read the wikipedia for “Solaris.”
update: The amazing Ginger tried to help everyone out and change the wiki, but alas, the changes did not hold. Many thanks for your inspiring efforts!!!