Anthology Film Archives


November 1 – November 11

A giant of Polish literature, and of science fiction writing worldwide – though in fact his work transcends the constraints of any particular genre – Stanisław Lem (1921-2006) produced dozens upon dozens of novels, stories, and essays throughout his nearly 60-year career. Best known for the writings that qualified, at least ostensibly, as science fiction, his body of work is dizzyingly multi-faceted, encompassing memoirs, reminiscences of his wartime experiences, and philosophical texts, while the science fiction narratives themselves often take wildly experimental forms and extend freely into the realms of philosophy and satire.

However his work is characterized, one thing is for sure: Lem’s novels and stories have inspired (and continue to inspire) numerous filmmakers, with cinematic adaptations emerging from throughout the world, often helmed by some of the most important filmmakers past and present: from Andrei Tarkovsky and Andrzej Wajda to the Quay Brothers and Steven Soderbergh.

Organized in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York, this series offers a generous selection of these Lem-inspired cinematic works. Anchored by three different versions of SOLARIS – Tarkovsky’s and Soderbergh’s celebrated films are joined by an earlier 1968 Russian television adaptation that has rarely if ever screened in the U.S. – the selection also includes an additional ten films whose diverse range of genres, tones, and stylistic approaches are entirely appropriate to Lem’s own body of work.

Immediately following the Stanisław Lem film series, Anthology will present a similar series devoted to the Russian science-fiction writers Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.

Christopher J. Caes, Lecturer in Polish at Columbia University, will introduce selected screenings throughout the series, and will also moderate a panel on Stanisław Lem at Columbia on Thursday, November 2. Organized by the Polish Cultural Institute and the Department of Slavic Languages, the panel will include Michael Kandel (Lem’s English translator), for more details visit:

Presented with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Special thanks to Tomek Smolarski (Polish Cultural Institute); Christopher J. Caes (Columbia University); Brian Belovarac & Ben Crossley-Marra (Janus Films); Michal Bregant & Kateřina Fojtová (National Film Archive, Czech Republic); Jonathan Hertzberg (Kino Lorber); Jules McLean; Veronica Neely (20th Century Fox); James Shapiro (Neon); Fedor Ushakov (The Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Company).

Upcoming Screenings

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