Andrei Tarkovsky's science-fiction masterpiece Solaris is one of Tarkovsky's most popular and most accessible films in terms of staging, story development and it's themes of the supernatural. Tarkovsky thought that because it was a science fiction story, Solaris had a much better chance for the studios to accept the project because the genre 'Science-Fiction' was an accessible genre for the mainstream masses. Tarkovsky was known to have seen Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey a few years before and he was very open in his great dislike for the film, calling it 'cold' and 'sterile.' Tarkovsky went on a mission to make his own version of what he saw as his vision of the future and the Russian media used it to their advantage shaping it as a sort of cold-war like agenda labeling it as 'the anti-2001.' Tarkovsky created a more organic and gentle vision of the future that focused on such significant and existential themes of love, loss, death, grief, and the memories and thoughts on the consiousness of the human mind.
A lot of people proclaim Tarkovsky's films are too slow, too long and need extensive trimming in several scenes. But I believe his films which include long philosophical and existential dialogue and extensive and sinuous tracking shots, have audiences slow down, relax, and enter his world of complete meditation. When he allows a sequence to continue for what seems like an unreasonable length, he gives audiences a choice: We can either be restless and bored or we can give our mind a time to consolidate what we've just seen, what we've just heard, and what we've just witnessed. It gives us a chance to process our thoughts and feelings in terms of our own reflections. Andrei Tarkovsky is considered the greatest director to have emerged from Russia since the great director Sergei Eisenstein, and the reason that his films are not as widely known is because they are the most abstract, exhaustive, metaphysical, and intellectual, films that stem closest to the literary definition of art.