Brad Pitt heads a stellar cast in James Gray’s (The Lost City of Z) Ad Astra - now showing in our cinemas. As with Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, Duncan Jones's Moon and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, this probing film goes to the edges of the galaxy to ask questions about what it means to be human. And just like those films Ad Astra owes much to Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic sci fi classic, Solaris, a moving and unsettling vision of memory and humanity which has often been compared to Stanley Kubrick’s '2001: A Space Odyssey'.
On a space station orbiting the ocean-covered planet Solaris, cosmonaut Chris Kelvin arrives to investigate a series of mysterious and bizarre occurrences among the crew. What he discovers are supernatural phenomena that cause repressed and haunting memories to take on physical form, including that of Kelvin’s late wife. Through her, Kelvin attempts to communicate with the forces responsible which appear to be emanating from the mysterious planet itself.
★★★★★ "There are two granddaddies of philosophical space movies. One of them is Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'. And the other, perhaps the more influential, is Tarkovsky's 'Solaris' (to which 'Interstellar' and 'Moon' owe everything)" - Kevin Maher, The Times