Based on the novel by one of the leading figures of Eastern European science fiction, Stanislaw Lem, Solaris takes place on a space station orbiting around the mysterious planet of the film's title.
Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky inverts the familiar tropes of the science fiction film by exploring the notion of space as more of an interior location that exists within his characters' increasingly fragile minds.
The expansive corridors of the space station transform into a dark projection of the crew's subconscious; the vast ocean on the planet below them acts as a conduit, transmitting fevered apparitions of departed loved ones.
On its release, Solaris was billed as the Russian answer to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. This kind of philosophical, meditative sci fi was to soon disappear after the release of the 'space opera' and box office extravaganza that was Star Wars.