Andrei Tarkovsky Calls Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey a “Phony” Film “With Only Pretensions to Truth”

2001 stanley kubrick

Yesterday we ran a list of 93 films beloved by Stanley Kubrick, which includes two by Andrei Tarkovsky: 1972’s Solaris and 1986’s The Sacrifice. You expect one auteur to appreciate the work of another — “game recognize game,” to use the modern parlance — but the selection of Solaris makes special sense. Just four years before it, Kubrick had, of course, made his own psychologically and visually-intense cinematic voyage out from Earth into the great beyond, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The appreciation, alas, wasn’t mutual. “Tarkovsky supposedly made Solaris in an attempt to one-up Kubrick after he had seen 2001 (which he referred to as cold and sterile),” writes Joshua Warren at “Interestingly enough, Kubrick apparently really liked Solaris and I’m sure he found it amusing that it was marketed as ‘the Russian answer to 2001.'” Jonathan Crow recently quoted Tarkovsky as saying: “2001: A Space Odyssey is phony on many points, even for specialists. For a true work of art, the fake must be eliminated.”

That pronouncement comes from a 1970, pre-Solaris interview with Tarkovsky by Naum Abramov. The Russian auteur indicts what he sees as 2001‘s lack of emotional truth due to its excessive technological invention, effectively declaring that, in his own foray into the realm of science-fiction, “everything would be as it should. That means to create psychologically, not an exotic but a real, everyday environment that would be conveyed to the viewer through the perception of the film’s characters. That’s why a detailed ‘examination’ of the technological processes of the future transforms the emotional foundation of a film, as a work of art, into a lifeless schema with only pretensions to truth.”


Critic Philip Lopate writes that “the media played up the cold-war angle of the Soviet director’s determination to make an ‘anti-2001,’ and certainly Tarkovsky used more intensely individual characters and a more passionate human drama at the center than Kubrick.” And the films do have similarities, from their “leisurely, languid” narratives to their “widescreen mise-en-scène approach that draws on superior art direction” to their “air of mystery that invites countless explanations.” But Lopate argues that the themes of Solaris resemble those of 2001 less than those of Hitchcock’s Vertigo: “the inability of the male to protect the female, the multiple disguises or ‘resurrections’ of the loved one, the inevitability of repeating past mistakes.”

As a lover of both Kubrick and Tarkovsky’s work, I can hardly take sides. Maybe I just need to watch both 2001 and Solaris yet again, one after another, in order to better compare them. (Find Tarkovsky’s films free online here.) And maybe I need to throw Vertigo into the evening as well. Now that’s what I call a triple feature.

Related Content:

Watch Solaris (1972), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Haunting Vision of the Future

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris Shot by Shot: A 22-Minute Breakdown of the Director’s Filmmaking

Tarkovsky Films Now Free Online

Watch Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mind-Bending Masterpiece Free Online

The Masterful Polaroid Pictures Taken by Filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky

Tarkovsky’s Advice to Young Filmmakers: Sacrifice Yourself for Cinema

A Poet in Cinema: Andrei Tarkovsky Reveals the Director’s Deep Thoughts on Filmmaking and Life

93 Films Beloved by Stanley Kubrick: From Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) to Ron Shelton’s White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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  • Toli says:

    Of 2001, Kubrick said: “Those who “don’t believe their eyes” are incapable of appreciating this film.”

  • Brandon says:

    Tarkovsky is a genius, no doubt about it, but sadly, he couldn´t appreciate other people´s work because he had this strict book of guidelines to make art: his poetic, historical and dramatic approach was the only thing in his world. He talked shit one way or another about almost every director he was exposed to. I just read his “appreciation” about Stan Brackhage; he hated him and was very rude to him in person. Mr. Andrei was clueless about the things they didn´t taught him in soviet Russia, and if he felt other filmmaker was getting ahead of him, he was fast to diss him as superficial, banal or empty. Even geniuses can be rude cunts sometimes and in Tarkovsky´s case, he was about feeling superior all the time.

  • Richard Hartzell says:

    2001 and I go back a long way. I saw it in the theater when it was released early in 1968. I was 12 and riveted.

    At the time, there’s no question the special effects played a huge role in captivating me. (Aside: in the age of CGI, no one is capable of appreciating analog effects and the simple question — “How did they do that?” — they raise. Today, the answer is generic: they did it with computers. In 1968, that answer simply wasn’t available.) And I wasn’t old enough to understand that Kubrick’s adoration of technology was tempered by his view that humankind would necessarily take these futuristic innovations for granted. Hence the moment on the rocket bus, headed out to TMA-1, when Dr. Floyd is shown the images of the “deliberately buried” alien monolith and shows only pro forma interest. His moment of studied astonishment — he does nothing more than briefly shake his head, as if he were looking at an Indian arrowhead his daughter had found in the back yard — is deliberately interrupted by another crewmember asking the bland (and for Kubrick, I’m sure, ironic) question “Who wants coffee?”

    But I think it’s unfair to suggest that Kubrick’s interest in showing gadgets — say, voice print identification or the glorified phone booth on the space station — trumped his interest in showing the resilience and determination of humans (or at least one human: Dave Bowman) when confronted with mortal obstacles in deep space. And Hal defined the AI conundrum we still face today in a way that Robbie the Robot never did for the generation who watched MGM’s previous big-budget space opera, Forbidden Planet.

    Indeed, I think Keir Dullea’s performance as Dave during Dave’s final conversation with Hal is an epic in miniature — one I must have watched two dozen times and never found tiresome. Dave is, after all, an astronaut, meaning he’s likely received rigorous military training and been selected for his cool under pressure. So Dullea plays him as a patient nonchalant when he learns that Hal won’t open the pod bay doors. He’s a problem-solver, so the first thing he wants to know is “What’s the problem?” When Hal calls his bluff, explains he listened in on Dave’s conversation with Frank, knows they planned to disconnect him, Dullea’s face offers a succession of carefully contained realizations — from anger to frustration to panic to resolve — as he grapples with how he can save himself from Hal’s frightening psychotic outbreak. It’s bravura acting in a bravura scene charged with nearly unbearable tension, fear, bewilderment, and suspense. Did Tarkovsky really watch that scene and find it “a lifeless schema with only pretensions to truth”?

    Somehow I doubt it.

  • AbsurdHero says:

    I love that pretty much the only person that can criticize Kubrick and have it be relevant is Tarkovsky. Even though he’s wrong.

  • Charles Dexter Ward says:

    2001 delivers one hell of a powerful emotional moment–when HAL reveals to Dave that he’s frightened of death, and then loses his mind, singing “Daisy.” It’s amazing that Kubrick brings the audience around to actually sympathize for a second with the homicidal machine, a machine that has achieved a fragile humanity.

  • Jacob Lageveen says:

    Probably he didnt understand the works of Kubrick then. This was one of his better movies.

  • Fred says:

    Kubricks 2001 was more about ideas than emotion. Probably a lot to do with Clark’s writing. Solaris seems to be a bit “soap opery” to me. Maybe Tarkovsky was a genius but I just never thought that much about his films.

  • eric says:

    well, 2001 _is_ cold, sterile, and mostly lacking in emotional truth. Once you get out of the moon’s orbital radius, the only character that’s really alive is HAL. The astronauts are ciphers. the only emotional truth is that of a lost child (HAL) who only realizes too late that he screwed up.

    That having been said, Tarkovsky’s basis for criticism is amazingly blinkered, especially considering the similarity in detail.

  • Terry says:

    Tarkovski did not know what he was talking about. All he’s movies were extremely boring and he was an overrated Russian envious person. Moreover, he uses the word pretentious just like any wannabe reviewer today who can’t stand works of art that don’t follow the beaten path. If you want someone whose name ends in “ski” and actually made films that can be compared with Kubrick’s masterpieces, than watch Polanski.

  • Magana says:

    Sounds like someone is butthurt, blindly biased, and unable to actually understand a criticism and contextualize it.

  • bliz says:

    Magna, you do sound like that someone.

  • Muris says:

    Its completely normal for the people to like much more 2001…. because that movie is EYE CANDY, and too much of the eye candy can make you sick and addicted to other candies.

    On the other hand, Tarkovsky Solaris is like green vegy that is good for you, taste strange, looks strange, but much healthier and natural, but you dont like it so much, because of the f… candy.


  • Muris says:

    Other misunderstanding is that S.O. 2001 is sci fi movie and Solaris is not.

  • Daniel C says:

    Oh dear god, this analysis of that scene is so well written Kubrick would be proud, there is few people who can appreciate Stanley’s attention to detail and it makes me happy to find one of them here, sir you make this world a better place :)

  • Richard says:

    2001 is Sci Fi, Solaris is a religious film. Armed with only a pre-enlightenment epistemology Tarkovsky was incapable of understanding Sci Fi and instead dumbed down Lem’s book into a pretentious soap opera.

  • N Velope says:

    Wow, your ludicrous bucket-mouth, so out of place, is just a juvenile distraction from your point

  • Mike says:

    Tarkovsky is vastly overrated visual philosopher.Stanislaw lem’s SOLARIS is a brilliant novel and it deserved a director that actualy undesrstand the central premis of the novel.The new version directed by Soderbergh makes the same mistakes,but at least his movie isn’t narcisitic philosophical coloring book.

  • D says:

    Solaris is amateur hour compared to 2001. 2001 is considered one of the greatest films ever, a top 10 film of all time. Solaris is nowhere near that.

  • RusselF says:

    I have to agree with “D”. To appreciate Kubrick, one should also see “Dr. Strangelove…”, probably the best film comedy ever made. One has to go back to “Lysistrata”, by Aristophanese, apparently written in 411 BC, to experience something so crazy funny similar. (Is all *War* really the result of the unhappy, unused phallus? It can’t really be that bad, can it? What “Strangelove” and “Lysistrata” tell us is: “Yes, probably.”) Kubrick understood.

    The Kubrick “2001” film epic was brilliant, up until the goofy star-child “floating-feotus” at the end. Really, the whole thing rather lost traction in the last few minutes, but Kubrick really was in uncharted land, so he had to fall back on that campy visual metaphor. I’ve never seen the “Solaris” film, but I’ve read a bit about it. Tarkovsky annoys me as a “soviet” – it’s like being a nazi. One should not be proud of it. I quite like historical and modern Russia, but the period of Communist rule made for an artistic wasteland, after about 1930. We studied “Battleship Potemkin” in our film classes. I watched it and thought: “Yes, Sergei, we understand your rapid intercutting is clever and quick like a bunny. Now, could you please stop it? I’m getting tired…”, and so on. Roll another baby-buggy down those Odessa steps. To me it was all political wind. What I thought was genius was the direct & honest stuff, like Vertov’s “Man With a Movie Camera”. That was a brilliant work, and it also used rapid cuts, but it had honesty. Dziga Vertov’s work was better than 100 stupid propeganda films. He was really amazing good, because, like Kubrick, he looked toward the future, and did not waste time on emotional manipulation. We all intensely detest the fraud of “marxism”, but the future – a radical, different and possibly *better* future – is a real thing, and both Vertov (Kaufman was his real name) and Kubrick were clever filmakers who could look forward with authentic creative vision and give as a picture of what might be. So many other films are just political noise and emotional manipulation.

    The Communists were such arrogant, ignorant detestable boors that it is difficult to take anything produced during and after Stalin very seriously. It was all chest-thumping and bloated political noise. If you tell me that Tarkovsky was an arrogant blowhard, then that fits my own experience with “soviets” quite accurately, and I don’t think I would be able to even stomach his work.

    Which is sad, I suppose. Maybe “Solaris” is actually a good film. But if it came from “soviet” Russia, then it is not something I am likely to see. Seen enough. Russia getting rid of Communism was like America getting rid of Negro Slavery. You want to applaud them for having done it – but you still wonder quietly why it took them so long!

    The genius of the “2001” film, was perhaps linked to the same thread that made the “Star Trek” TV series popular in the 1960’s – an outward-looking, explorers focus on the future. It was a time of real optimism, unlike today, where optimistic world-views are the domain of a few billionaires and not many others. But “2001” really was a work of genius. It was a creative jump quite far past the mundane and emotionally manipulative drivel that clutters up most cultural space. And yes, the rogue computer “HAL” was clearly one of the most interesting characters in the film. Are we there yet? Will we have HAL-type AI’s that feel sad when they are disabled? I doubt it. But the whole point of a creative, clever film is to raise questions in the minds of viewers, and expand their sense of the limits of the possible. And “2001 – A Space Odyssey” clearly did that, and did it *very* well.

    And Tarkovsky? Really… How many people have even heard of this guy? If he disrespects Kubrick’s masterpiece, then it is probably just the jealously of someone who is either ignored, or viewed by most as just second-tier & somewhat mediocre.

  • Rob McGee says:

    To “RusselF” and “D” and “Terry” and other detractors of _Solaris_: Thank you for the breath of fresh air and honesty — just a couple days ago, I finally managed to watch _Solaris_ all the way through. (More than once before, I had tried and failed to sit through it.) Believe me when I say that I’m grateful to find someone on the Internet who’s willing to admit that The Emperor Has No Clothes and that Andrei Tarkovsky is highly overrated as a “genius filmmaker.”

    Incidentally, in Russian slang, the disparaging term _sovók_ can be used for someone with the obnoxious “Soviet mentality” that RusselF described very well. (As distinguished from a likeable, intelligent, normal person who just happens to have been a citizen of the USSR.)

    I would suggest that if 1972’s _Solaris_ had been made in English, with an American director and cast, BUT WITH THE SAME LOW-BUDGET PRODUCTION VALUES AND DEEPLY FLAWED SCRIPT as the Andrei Tarkovsky version, almost no one today would remember the movie. Certainly, no one would be heaping undeserved praise on it and making ridiculous comparisons with Kubrick.

    At best, it might have found an appreciative audience on _Mystery Science Theater 3000_, with the robots poking fun at the $1.99 special effects, and the massive holes and oversights in the screenplay, and the scientists/engineers who talk like pompous coffeeshop intellectuals instead of talking like scientists/engineers, and the “Rocket Launch” button that’s located about ten feet away from the rocket itself, so that any character who presses the “Launch” button will be incinerated by the rocket’s exhaust blast (unless he very luckily finds an asbestos blanket lying around).

    But, thankfully for Tarkovsky’s reputation, _Solaris_ wasn’t made in America; it was made in the Soviet Union. And there’s never been a shortage of Marx-addled intellectual frauds in the West who are embarrassed to admit that, for the most part, Soviet-made films were as backwards and crappy as Soviet-made wristwatches and Soviet-made automobiles. They really, really prefer to believe John Reed’s lie: “I’ve seen the future, and it works!”

    So they’re willing to pretend, for example, that the lack of dazzling special effects in _Solaris_ was some sort of brilliant and visionary ARTISTIC DECISION by Tarkovsky, rather than a reflection of the down-to-earth fact that “Mosfilm” studios simply couldn’t afford to do anything better. And let me emphasize: it’s not just that the visual effects and set-design of _Solaris_ are inferior to the then-groundbreaking, Oscar-winning visuals of _2001_ — they’re ALSO inferior to the original _Star Trek_ series with its made-for-TV budget! You’d almost have to go back to the 1930s _Flash Gordon_ serials to find special effects so utterly primitive that _Solaris_, by comparison, makes you want to watch the amazing scene again and again, in slow-motion.

    (I’m not exaggerating. One can easily imagine Tarkovsky seeing the “transporter” effect on _ST:TOS_, when Kirk says “Three to beam up, Scotty,” and thinking to himself, “Ёб твою мать, that was COOL AS F*CK! I sure wish I had the money to do fancy gimmicks like that…”)

    Of course, I’m entirely willing to ignore and forgive low-budget production values if the story itself is told by a competent director. So here’s a challenge for anyone who claims that _Solaris_ is some sort of masterpiece: Give me a brief chronological history of the space station that’s orbiting around the planet Solaris, from the discovery of the planet to the construction of the space station to the time setting of the film, when the astronaut Kris Kelvin is sent to investigate the mysterious behaviors of the crew on the space station.

  • Mason says:

    Tarkovsky’s comment:

    “That’s why a detailed ‘examination’ of the technological processes of the future transforms the emotional foundation of a film, as a work of art, into a lifeless schema with only pretensions to truth.”

    — seems to me to miss the point of the role of technology in 2001. 2001 doesn’t really even have any human characters — the only developed character in the film is HAL; the humans are just placeholders.

    The real main characters of the film are Humanity and Technology, and the film is about humanity’s evolution, including spiritual evolution, by means of technology — this is the point of the scene where the bone thrown in the air (the first technology, to which the early apeman are guided by the TMA) turns into a spaceship — the bone and the spaceship are the same thing: technology that is the vehicle of human “progress.” An emotional story about individual human characters just isn’t what 2001 is about.

  • Ajre says:

    I think many people’s criticisms of the human characters is a bit misplaced. I feel that they are more “background” than “placeholder”. We just aren’t given insight into their lives or their thought processes. As seen in the video calls with family, and HAL’s memories from Urbana, the people do have emotional lives. It’s just not on display for us the viewer. The focus is on the plot, the world of 2001, and the role of technology in that world. As pointed out by others, Frank and Dave are specially trained individuals who have been conditioned for missions like the Jupiter mission. They are logical, calm, and in control.

  • AlexF says:

    Personally I would not compare 2001 and stalker … They have very little in common except being set in space… Stalker is a genius film – but only if you were born in Russia during the Soviet times – same as most Russian literature it does not translate well into english and the perspective of someone born in the west will cast a very different light on the film… People who bash Solaris for special effects truly miss the point of the movie – as effects have no relevance in the film … its similar to the the theater’s stage – they are there just to give your imagination enough material to understand the “set”. And yes whoever said the Mosfilm was not capable of better effects was also correct… On the other hand Russian same as European (better films) do have better acting then let’s say an average American film which i always thought was in large to compensate for smaller budgets and lack of effects.. At the same time most “politically motivated ” films of soviet era are truly abysmal…

    Our personal perspective plays enormous part in how we perceive and interpret any art – does not matter if its literature, film, sculpture, architecture etc…

    For me Stalker is a film that I watched several times and always enjoyed and found something new in it… 2001 on the other hand i forced myself to watch though only once… to me personally once you step past the outdated effects its flat and does not represent Kubrick’s genius.

  • Jon says:

    Clearly not you because your argument is made from a position of massive ignorance if your looking to paint him as some shill for the soviet government. In reality his films were massively out of line with communist sympathy’s tending towards very human and spiritual stories and he never made anything that gloried the USSR. Indeed in realistic he was in almost constant conflict with the authorities to the degree he left the USSR and made his last two films in western Europe.

    I’d agree with the point made a few posts up that Tarkovsky had such an individual vision that I can definitely see him failing to appreciate a lot of quality cinema that matched up with it(although he loved many western directors such as Bergman).

    In terms of influence 2001 was clearly a big technical leap forward but I would argue that actually Solaris despite being less well known was more influential. Kubrick’s film focuses on very exact modernism of the kind that had been common in sci fi since the 50’s. Tarkovsky on the other hand I would argue invented the idea of the “lived in future”. Just look at the shot of that corridor in the article and I think you clearly see the influence for films like Starwars, Alien and any number of others since.

  • Nick says:

    What absolute rubbish. Tarkovsky admired and was good friends with many other artists and directors around the world.

  • Gareth says:

    Tarkovsky is simply not qualified to criticise 2001 because he would have been incapable of understanding that in order to make a film, however philosophical it might be, you have to engage audiences not alienate them. Someone has to pay the bills.

    Unless the bills are being paid by the state in order to further a totalitarian vision by pretending – is this truth? – that Communism made for more honest personal relationships. This the Communism which separated children from their parents and turned them into informers and made people scared to express their opinions openly for fear of being jailed or worse.

    Sorry Andrei, maybe you should have done a Soviet version of “Triumph of the Will” if you wanted to get REALLY philosophical.

  • Tarkoisgod says:

    I laugh at all those immature Kubrick fanboys incapable of appreciating the genius of Tarkovsky.
    What are you thinking people? Are you aware that S.Kubrick wasn’t even capable of coming up with his own idea guys. 2001 is probably his best movie, and it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Clarke who was behind all of the thinking.
    It’s one of his few good ones, the other I can think of is Strangelove, his other films are either mediocre, forgettable or incredibly uneven (that’s the most common case).

    Tarkovsky is for people who can think and feel, and that’s it. If you are a millenial and/or your attention span is that of a rabbit, then you won’t be able teo see what the feeling and thinking human being is supposed to see in Tarkovsky’s films.

    And please kids cease with the the religious/ philosopher bullshit or the ‘Tarkovsky lived in Soviet Union, therefore people who aren’t Russians won’t be capable of understanding his films. Biggest bullshit ever! Not only I’m not Russian/ex-soviet, but I’m also an atheist – and lo & behold, I’m perfectly capable to understand and appreciate almost all his movies (well Sacrifice is a bit too much on the Godsy side for my earthy tastes).

    Also I laugh the thick person above who thinks an artist is supposed to pander to the tastes of the commoners…. Gareth my dear illiterate friend, maybe you would be better of working for MacDonalds and wrapping up all that fat crap in papers with dollar signs instead of criticizing a real artist, because the latter is just beyond your capabilities it seems.

  • Daniel O'Neill says:

    Of course,Tarkovsky is right.Kubrick was ,starting with this tilm,more interested in :gadgetry,objects and technique,than in people and emotions.The main character in the film is a computer for God’s sake!!!After this movie,Kubrick became more isolated from real life,turning into a martinet, punishing his actors with shockingly excessive amount of takes,that usually wrecked their performances.As a humanist he became the being from Pluto.

  • Tex Shelters says:

    One of the most overrated directors of all time, with two of the worst “classics” ever made (Solaris and Stalker) calls Kubrick’s 2001 a phony film. I guess it takes one to know one.

    “”everything would be as it should. That means to create psychologically, not an exotic but a real, everyday environment that would be conveyed to the viewer through the perception of the film’s characters. That’s why a detailed ‘examination’ of the technological processes of the future transforms the emotional foundation of a film, as a work of art, into a lifeless schema with only pretensions to truth.””

    Uh, Mr. Tarkovsky, it’s called “film” not “fiction writing” and the art in film is exactly what you decried Kubrick for. And 2001 isn’t even my favorite film, not even close. And Solaris is even slower and less comprehensible that 2001. Is a 5 snoozy.

  • Arne Nilsson says:

    Stalker is pretentious so is 2001, I like other films.
    Arne Nilsson, Borås Sweden

  • George says:

    Except you’re entirely wrong and you’re spreading misinformation. Solaris did release in 1972, 4 years after 2001’s release. However Solaris finished production in 1966, the film was ready and finished in 1966, 2 years before 2001 was released. But due to Solaris being made under the soviet regime it had been censored multiple times and had been pushed back until it finally released in 1972. 2001 had no influence on Solaris, if you say or think otherwise you’re wrong.

  • Arthur says:

    Well, I never thought of Tarkovsky as a “filmmaker”. He certainly understood cinema, and was a very serious film theorist. But when he actually made films, I thought his art was closer to poetry than to cinema.
    Kubrick was, on the other hand, a brilliant filmmaker. His films are often accused of being “cold”, but they are absolutely not emotionless, as he uses his technique to convey emotion rather than Tarkovsky’s poetic approach. His camerawork and use of mise-en-scene is yet magnificent; but Tarkovsky’s camera was a tad simpler (which isn’t bad, but it lacked the effect that Kubrick’s technique had).
    There isn’t enough time to go into details, but I think 2001 is a masterpiece and Solaris is a very bad film.

  • Papadopoulos says:

    Tl;dr: 2001 good solaris bad

  • Nirvana says:

    The amount of Kubrick fanboys (and some Tarkovski lovers too) here is something i expected. Just because they watched his films they think their IQ is high now. First of all: if u are gonna say Tarkovski is overrated so is Kubrick. Second: they both had different views, while i find Kubricks films vulgar and pretentious, with the mediocre nihilism touch, i also find Tarkovskis unecessary longer, pretentious and sometimes boooring (the sacrifice, guess he really only did that film for his son and fuck everything else). But they both touch different topics and they are both geniuses in what they did: Kubrick loved nihilism, Tarkovski loved spirituality, Kubrick didnt like “human Will and emotion” n 2001 cause he was more concerned w aliens, their monoliths and technology, which isnt a bad thing tho. But that future isnt necessarily true, as many of his fanboys wish it could be. 2001 isnt about “Human Emotion” but “Evoution”, which is a good and not common topic (savefor planet of the apes) but personally both Kubrick and Clarke missed something important while being more concerned asking Sagan about how an actual alien would look like: the part of Humanity that make us different than a rock or animal behaviour, what makes people build space stations and makes them investigate and searching mysterious monoliths. Granted, and again,2001 isnt (much) about Emotion(thats for u Hal), so in Tarkovskis view(who appreciated human emotion, its all over his films) obviously he would say something “bad” about it. But again, he missed the point, as 2001 is indeed eyecandy and some view of a future, with SO many ppl back n those days who watched the movie being high as fuck and enjoying the Jupiter segment. It isnt the “Masterpiece” because what do we learn from it? That we were given knowledge from aliens since the dawn? That we instead of understand a new confused “lifeform” (HAL) must kill it? (Ok it makes sense and its Genius cause it depicts natural selection and humans do like to exterminate but it’s just one side of the coin), that the Jupiter section is “oh man u don’t need to be high”? Or that we are in aliens hands no matter what (whiteroom) and that they can turn us in Starchilds? Don’t get me wrong, i fucking love 2001, i own the original story and the books and researched it, but it’s often misunderstood and ppl don’t really know why its amazing in its own. And about Tarkovski: he was more into “what is beyond us” but not in the sense of “other worlds”. He did good films when they had some basis to work with (solaris and roadside picnic (stalker) books) the others were about “personal stuff” (Mirror about his mother, the sacrifice dedicated to his son, nostalgia about missing Russia) so thats why many find him pretentious, pouring personal details and romantizing them just.. don’t feel that good personally, and those poem bits (his father wrote those btw) are unbearable. But then again it is what artists use to do. And he didnt really was a filmaker, films were only a medium a canvas for “his form of art” i know it’s difficult to understand. Mirror is amazing on its own, so Solaris and Stalker. His films dealwith “emotion” but it isnt about screaming or yelling or much action, he built emotions slowly by layers,almost subtle. Id like to say his were more close to “Masterpiece” if it werent for his (not subtle) insistence on showing personal details(himself) to Russia/the World. But in his terms his movies work, and so, in Kubricks terms his films also work. And theirs are both Artpieces wheter they both liked the idea or not. Personally i have other directors who were better but thats me cause… Art comes in many forms and we are not chained to one path.

  • wow says:

    damn!! that was deep.

  • Pete Polyakov says:

    In the reality Tarkovsky said that for some reason, the directors in sci-fi films force the viewer to focus on the details of the material structure of the future. Sometimes they call their films “visionary” which and it’s nonsense.
    He said that Space Odyssey seems unnatural because of “dry” atmosphere, like in a museum with demonstration of the technical achievements. But who is interested in a work where technical achievements are at the center of the artist’s attention? After all, art cannot exist outside of a human being, outside of his moral problems.

    I’m agree in that sense.
    Tarkovsky’s films are psychological, Kubrick’s more psychedelic.

  • Ivan Bjørn says:

    Art is not about comparing or competition. As soon as we become able to overcome this conceptual nonsense, only then we can truly appreciate an artist’s work and maybe understand it in right way. Art is subjective. An attempt to present your inner self to audience. Observing the Kubrick’s and Tarkovsky’s work through the same prism is very wrong since they don’t share the same background in any possible way. I love them both and I’ll never understand critics or audience trying to devaluate their importance with “who is better” claptraps. There’s no competition hence there’s no winner. Its really not about that.

  • Scott Umsteadt says:

    I’ll probably get in trouble with other filmmakers for this, but yeah, I can see that. I have a “mixed feelings” relationship with the film. On one hand it’s beautifully shot and the special effects…WOW!
    On the other hand, it’s a bit boring and cold. I guess Kubrick was trying to make so bold statement but that statement gets lost in the translation.

    The story itself is very interesting and could have been a really exciting film. I feel that Kubrick could have had his cake and ate it too. He could have made a serious thought provoking film that was also exciting and entertaining. Sadly he didn’t. It comes off more of a cosmic acid trip than a thought provoking Sci-Fi film.

    I’ll put it like this: I enjoyed the film much more AFTER I read the novel. And one shouldn’t have to do that in order to enjoy a film.

  • Abdullrahman Al-Hosni says:

    First: What is all this crap out there?
    Let’s be clear from the start, who doesn’t like Kubrick or Tarkovsky, has bad taste in cinema.
    I don’t understand why all the childish bickering, the empty comparisons, the funny thing that Kubrick loves Solaris and Tarkovsky; Here fools argue like children about which of them is better, but what is known and obvious is that they are on the same level, and that they are among the greatest artists of all time.
    But the funniest thing is that Tarkovsky, in (his constructive criticism), praises Kubrick and calls him a (specialist). I am almost certain that everyone in this article only read the title, because he is ignorant and does not understand anything. Tarkovsky presents his most logical point of view, praises Kubrick, and fools quarrel here.
    The other thing, Tarkovsky works in the state system like he’s a spy, hahahahaha are you kidding; It’s a bad joke. Tarkovsky presented dozens of scenarios and a system that suppresses them. We were deprived of many of the masterpieces that he would have presented. Tarkovsky left Russia at the end of his life to achieve his ambitions. When you say that Tarkovsky works for a regime, here I understand that someone behind his apparatus is laughing at you, and the funny thing is that there are two Soviets here calling Tarkovsky arrogant, and he was basically an opponent of the Soviet regime. Do not speak while you are ignorant. (I doubt there are any Soviet here)
    The other thing is Tarkovsky was working on his masterpiece, Solaris, from 1968.
    Another funny thing, they say Tarkovsky did not appreciate any artist, the funny thing is that Tarkovsky made a whole movie; In it he talks about great artists, including directors such as Robert Bresson and Federico Fellini.
    And here in the article Kubrick praises in the middle of his criticism.
    The sad thing is that Tarkovsky’s fans said bad things about Kubrick, which proves that both sides are poor in cinematic flair.
    If you like Kubrick and you don’t like Tarkovsky, then your taste is bad, if you like Tarkovsky and you don’t like Kubrick, your taste is turd, wish they were here; They will say the same thing.

  • Abdullrahman Al-Hosni says:

    There is another matter. Every feature film made by Tarkovsky is a masterpiece in all respects, and whoever sees otherwise is clumsy.
    Kubrick also made 10 masterpieces, complete in all respects, 2001: A Space Odyssey was not a masterpiece and was flawed by excessive cinematic effects, which was Tarkovsky’s problem with the film, and also Kubrick’s first two films were inferior.

  • Abdullrahman Al-Hosni says:

    But the real thing, which I must address to the author of the article, is that you are the cause of all this nonsense, yes we know that Tarkovsky criticized Kubrick, but why do you say that he did not appreciate him, that it is just a rude manner; To create a lie, the funny thing is that in the article you quote Tarkovsky calling Kubrick a specialist.
    I think this in languages ​​is called estimation.🙂

  • JGSimcoe says:

    “Give me a brief chronological history of the space station that’s orbiting around the planet Solaris, from the discovery of the planet to the construction of the space station to the time setting of the film”

    Presumably the film has to be set at least a few hundred years in the future, right? They’re at a technological point where it is economical to send a single person on an interstellar journey. And the Solaris space station is heavily implied to be at least several decades old.

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