Saturday, April 23, 2011


Back in the days before Cat Stevens saw the darkness and turned into a raving lunatic, he produced several jewels. All that came to an end with his conversion, which is once more proof of the wicked, destructive character of the death cult known as 'islam'. Ironically, Morning has broken is actually a christian hymn dating back to 1931, when a British author of children's books, Eleanor Farjeon, set its lyrics to a Gaelic tune known as Bunessan (Bunessan is also a village on the southern shore of the Scottish Island of Mull). Stevens did popularize it though when he included a version on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat.

Let it grow. From Eric Clapton's second studio album 461 Ocean Boulevard.

July 1974.

The first half of the following video contains an electronic adaptation by the Russian composer of electronic music Eduard Artemyev of Bach's memorable chorale prelude for organ, Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (BWV 639). BWV stands for Bach Werke Verzeichnis, Bach Works Catalogue.

You can listen to a classic form here. As you may be beginning to suspect, I am rather fond of baroque music.

The film fragment above is from the second adaptation of Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem's famous novel Solaris (1961), more precisely Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 version. There was a 1968 movie adaptation for Soviet TV, and then there's of course the 2002 Steven Soderbergh version with George Looney. The latter certainly has its merits plus the advantage of a big budget and and an arsenal of special effects; however, personally I prefer the Tarkovsky film. Somewhere in the late eighties, as an engineering student in Ghent, during the yearly International Film Festival in that city, I unsuspectingly walked into a movie theater - IIRC Sphinx, on the Sint-Michielshelling - where they happened to play Solaris. Ghent's International Film Festival offers the possibility to see rare material. Two hours later, I was sold. I did have some trouble with the slow pace, the psychological drama and the obvious paucity on the set, which shows almost exclusively the interior of a decrepit space station that has been orbiting the planet of Solaris for many years. Mind you, this was supposed to be Tarkovsky's answer to Kubrick's 2001, A Space Odyssey.

I can say that as far as I'm concerned, I consider Tarkovsky's movie altogether a far more satisfying movie experience than 2001. 2001 is great, absolutely, and its special effects were groundbreaking - if you check it out even now, more than forty years after its release, the depiction of spacecraft still doesn't look outdated. But... 2001 has forever left me with a feeling of having been fooled. I'm still clueless about it, and I'm sure gazillions of people are. Kubrick hasn't connected with his audience.

How different is Solaris. Frankly, I was baffled at its end. I just hope that I don't spoil it for you, if after this post you intend to see it.

The Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis, whom you see in the fragment above, is a perfect cast for the novel's main characther Kris Kelvin. His neutrino 'wife' is Natalya Bondarchuk, Hari in the movie, a very beautiful woman.


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