Henry and Kristl travelled to Solaris(2002)

——

 

“It’s a George Clooney movie, so I bet we get lots of women wanting to see this,” Henry grinned, “Clooney smiling; Clooney sleeping; Clooney talking; Clooney looking hurt..Women will get a meltdown watching this movie.”

 

“Unless you’re a hardcore lesbian, I guess.” Henry continued and then glanced at Kristl, with her short cut spiky white hair, her firmly built frame, roughened black leather jacket, covered with buttons from demised eighties punk bands, worn black jeans, a tank top with some anti-establishment shout written across it and battered high laced combat boots., “Or a nun.”

 

“All this because of Clooney? Like you like to watch kickass babes in scanty clothes waving swords about?,” Kristal turned towards Henry, raising an eyebrow.

 

“You know, Kristl,  a movie is eye candy, why else watch a movie?  If it’s not eye candy, you better of reading a book, or listening to an audio play. Make up your own images. Have your own Clooney version.”

 

“It is not all about eye candy.. I mean it has to have something going for it, like a gripping story and characters that you care for, or at least are interested in. What is the expression: to root for?”

 

“Sure, but movies have a huge eye candy factor built in to them. Just like television series like CSI, filled with these eye blinding pretty people. Not one ugly, fat, old or decrepit  person around.  Who wants to see ugly people if you can watch pretty people. You suffer though, knowing you  never be as pretty as they are.”

 

“Like the female lead, Natascha McElhone. Eye candy too? With her vaguely British accent, her slender frame and her bedroom eyes. Although aloof and distant at the same time.”

 

“I was guessing you would mention her ,” Henry smiled.

 

“Well, there aren’t that many people in the movie. About four and two are women. ”

 

“It’s why it’s a George Clooney movie. You can see it even on the poster: George Clooney’s name is above the title, almost in the same large and bold letters as the title. Heck, they could have scrapped the title and called it Clooney.”

 

“ Would that work? I wouldn’t go to a movie just because Clooney is in it. Although, I would also not not go because Clooney is in it.”

 

“Not not go?”

 

“Stay away.”

 

“Right…”

 

“But maybe you are right, maybe it’s a Clooney movie, for it hasn’t got much else going for it. I vaguely recalled having seen the first movie and even read the book and these were things filled with mystery and longing. Like they attempt in this movie, but the actions of the people are so odd,” Kristl said.

 

“Like killing his  wife?,” Henry said.

 

“That scene is strange. You meet your long dead wife and the first thing you come up with is putting her in escape pod and ejecting her into space. Like who would ever do such a thing? You must be a complete cold hearted bastard to do that. Maybe that is why he is called Kelvin in the movie: as in cold? It is like someone remaking Solaris, but with some action movie in mind. Instead of wondering, you kill, cause it must be malevolent. Ejecting her into space.. is kinda cruel, ” Kristl said.

 

“Whatever floats your boat, eh,” Henry grinned.

 

“And the reason why they send Clooney to Solaris is so contrived. We need you to go to the space station at some planet called Solaris, because we lost contact with it and the military team we send, but we know that you have special skills to deal with the situation. So we send you, one guy, off to take charge of a situation that  a group of scientists and a group of soldiers could not handle. One wonders what those special skills are.”

 

“Well, he is a looker, that is what he is.”

 

“And then they ruined the movie at the end. Of course, they couldn’t let a mistery be a mystery, they had to put in some kind of closure.  So in very blunt scene George is absolved of all he has done towards the fake Rhye and the real.. Do not worry George, all is forgiven.”

 

“Why is that bad? I mean..”

 

“Because it’s totally at odds at the idea. Solaris is a mystery, nobody knows what is going on. Solaris does something to the people, for good or bad. It puts our humanity in the front, it is not something specific to absolve people of their sins..  Soderberg basically took the idea, twisted it about and then made something that resembled the previous movie and the book, but diverted from the essence by trying to take away the mystery, the strangeness. And he finally kills it by having the Solaris created Rhye expressing forgiveness.”

 

“I still liked the movie, actually.”

 

“Well, it’s not a bad movie, really. I think that it is just not a good remake. Had it been called Clooney, a movie inspired by Solaris, it would have been a good movie, but now it’s something like: Solaris, a lost love found in space: having nothing much to do with the original and the book at all.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“You know, you resemble Clooney a bit,” Kristl said.

 

“Really?”

 

“If you build up some muscle, add some weight to that wiry frame of yours, shaved properly – instead of running around half shaven, and cut your hair shorter, then you do.”

 

“I shall take that as a compliment.”

 

“Whatever makes your boat float.”

 

“You were waiting to say that.”

 

“I bet I do.”

 

“No worries though. I won’t hold it against you..”

 

“Thanks. Want to take a look at my brand new escape pod?”

 

“Offering me a free ride?”

 

“A grande tour de l‘espace.”

 

“Sounds sophisticated.”

 

“It is, but it’s no trouble at all. Just have to find the eject button.”

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0307479/

Signs of life: the last voyage

The last voyage
The last voyage

She caught my attention because she was so there: standing tall with her arms folded in front of her chest and her defiant gaze that seemed to say to everyone around her: ‘I dare you, I dare you  to say something about it, I  dare you to assume; dare to conclude, to judge’.

He was wearing shades, a black jacket on blue jeans and a big brown leather bag that made him lean sideways.  He was next to her, but also behind her at the same time. Like he neither wanted to be next to her nor following her, while she didn’t want him to be either and certainly not in front of her. So she paced with long steps to keep ahead of him and he had to keep up dragging his heavy load. A reluctant chase.

Suddenly she halted a few meters further on the platform, making him stop as well after a minimum exchange of words. The bag thudded on the concrete. I  imagined it  to be bursting with voluminous books containing hundreds of pages made out of frail paper filled with miniscule lines. Like a pocket bible. Books filled with all the words they would ever need, but would never say to each other if they could help it. Words that would no longer see the light of day.

He turned towards a bicycle shop that was at one side of the raised platform and a few meters lower. He lifted the shades to put them on the top of his head and then put his hands in his pockets to stare at the rows upon rows of cycles inside the shop.

She looked the other way, with her back to the shop and staring at nothing in particular because she was mostly focused on looking away from him. Her arms were still folded in front of her chest.

When the train stopped she moved towards the doors  without giving him one look. He put on his shades, lifted the bag and followed her. When the doors opened they both stepped inside at the same time. Just before she was inside she stopped for a brief moment and gave me this intense gaze. There was a bit of defiance in it, but also – deeper – a sense of resignation. A resignation about  having to put up with someone you want to be miles away from, but you had to be with for this one trip. Just for this one last trip.