Watched the Hollywood version of Solaris to my regret. I started the Tsarkovsky version sometime last year, but wasn’t able to finish it. That one seems really interesting and much more deep. But, I suppose this version wasn’t a total loss. In fact, I think it brought up some interesting and relevant issues. The basic idea is quite similar to Kurzweil’s proposal that it will possible to have computers that will be just like us, exceeding our intelligence and perhaps even biological functions. Kurzweil belived that this will be our creation. But, in the movie, it is believed to be created by artificial intelligence called Solaris. Now, perhaps Kurzweil believes that Solaris is what we humans will in fact achieve, in that Solaris is not purely a mystical but a technological and a product of natural law, thought that law hasn’t been discovered on earth or explained [in this movie]. The doctor in the film is able to figure out the biology of it and combat it.
So in more detail about how this possibility presents itself: It seems like Solaris reads human minds (including emotion) and then creates “visitors” based on that. At first it seems to be solely based on memory, therefore in the main character’s case, since his visitor was dead, the existence of this visitor is limited to what the person remembers. This also means the immortality of the visitor comes to the same point. As the visitor said: “I’m suicidal because that’s how you remember me”. But [the visitor] doesn’t ever die and instead seemed to go through a reverse process towards resurrection. The amin character isn’t convinced that we are predetermined to repeat our past. He believes he can pick up where he mistakenly left off (the fight before her suicide)and start anew, make changes. The problem is, that even if it were possible, the future is created based only on HIS version of everything. At the end of the film the thing that bothered him the most was the thought the he had remembered it wrong. Remembered her according to his version of her.
That is the key! At another point in the film debate of the existence of God obviously comes up. And he characteristically believes that there can be no God, that our lives are just mathematics and logic. She disagrees, naturally, mentioning that proof of God is awareness of mortality. It doesn’t get debated any further. But, while she (in remade-post-death-Solaris-form) is able to remember, to have accurate memories and emotions, she is also aware that she has not experienced it. This is because it is HIS memory and not hers, which ended when she died (stopped being uniquely created and capable of creating memories). She is not real because she can’t die in this form. It is not just logic and memories and mathematics. There is more.
The ending didn’t quite sell me. It is the same scene from the beginning before he goes to Solaris. The events are repeated with minor changes. 1) Her picture is on the fridge (a point of contention: in Solaris he thought it odd that there are no pictures in his house since she died) 2) his cut doesn’t bleed, though he puts it under the faucet as if it were [as he remembered it]. He eventually sees that she is actually there. She convinces him that this time it is real, all our sins are forgiven. It is very vague and lacking depth. It’s the difference between the ultimate state of human reality being 1) a perfect world as we imagine it with pictures on the wall and getting to be with your wife and all your sins are forgiven (though you never worried or cared about it in the first place) and 2) sins are forgiven as ultimate freedom and individuality. That was the key statement, actually, it was the only statement she made so the rest of it just didn’t provide the substance to back it up. But to define more clearly the vague point: she was real and he was real and they had nothing to do with it. It wasn’t just the sum of their parts, but merely the idea that they are real.
**I’m going to have to watch this again tonight and fill this in – I think.**