Existence, Ethics and Death in Andrei Tarkovsky's Cinema: The Cultural Philosophy of Solaris

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    The research for this journal article explored the notion of ethics, technology, and ‘Other’ in relation to a number of ideas that ranged from the socio-political context of the Soviet Union in which Stanislaw Lem’s book and Andrei Tarkovsky’s film were made to exploring the philosophy of technology. It uses a number of twentieth-century philosophers (such as Blanchot, Derrida, Heidegger, Lingis, Nancy, Patočka, Sartre, and Žižek) to re-examine Solaris in particular relation to technocentrism and ethical considerations of the ‘Other’. The article also focuses on themes arising out of the core issue of ethics and technology, such as the notion of science-fiction as a vehicle to discuss socio-political issues within censorship, the comparison of technocratic orders to humanistic ones, the role of images, cultural prosthesis and memory, and the historical context of Russian literature (Dostoevsky and Tolstoy) that all contribute to Tarkovsky’s film.

    Appearing in Film International: Journal of World Cinema, the article has benefited from an international readership. I have received a lot of interest and communication about the article, from a Professor and Dean at the University of Valencia to a French postgraduate student writing their thesis. Despite only being published relatively recently, the article is now appearing on various bibliographies on Andrei Tarkovsky. Indeed, the article has already been referenced in the Stanford University lecturer Nariman Skakov’s recent book The Cinema of Tarkovsky: Labyrinth of Space and Time (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-62
    JournalFilm International
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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