weather icon Clear

‘Solaris’ highlights impact of choices

Candy Santana-Moncayo is the owner of Ooh La La in Boulder City. She just celebrated being a local business owner for two years when I found myself standing in her beautifully decorated pink and white striped shop, staring at framed images of Hollywood’s most elite posing with their fur-baby friends.

Ooh La La has always been good to my own fur babies. It was at the pet boutique’s anniversary party, which served a killer “paw-sta salad,” that I caught a tie between actor George Clooney and our city.

In 2002, Clooney starred in a movie titled “Solaris.” The movie lists Lake Mead and Boulder City as a few filming locations. Produced by James Cameron, “Solaris” is based on a science fiction novel by the same name from Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. Lem’s book was published in 1961 and was adapted into a movie by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972. Cameron decided to remake “Solaris,” which deals with second chances and psychology more than it does space, even though the movie is set in an operating space station orbiting the planet Solaris.

At Ooh La La, Clooney’s photo has him with his famous pooch Einstein Clooney. A rescue, Clooney’s cocker spaniel was featured in the Huffington Post in 2015. Writer Arin Greenwood noted, “The dog was an elderly, sick stray before he became the sort of animal who spends time at a villa in Italy, mooching food off movie stars.”

Clooney credits Einstein with helping him “woo” his wife in several interviews. Sadly, the actor had to put his beloved dog down last year, but he has since adopted several other rescues and continues to be an advocate for the adoption of stray animals.

Ironically, “Solaris” is about loss, too. In the movie, Clooney’s character, Dr. Chris Kelvin, lost his wife to suicide after confronting her about the loss of a child he didn’t know was on the way. Altering our reality, reliving past mistakes and replaying touchy conversations — even re-experiencing heartfelt loss — make the audience reconsider not only their own realities, but the choices they make.

“Solaris” cost over $47 million to make and didn’t come close to breaking even at box office. Lightstorm Entertainment, the movie’s production company, blamed a poorly strategized marketing plan for its shortcomings at the box office. I agree. If you watch the trailer for “Solaris” online and then watch the movie, you will see a stark difference between how the movie was advertised and what it is actually about.

Clooney spent very little time filming at Lake Mead, but he was here. And his presence at Ooh La La lives on, as does the memory of his Einstein.

I recently lost the love of my life, a border collie rescue named Clara Bow. She was the best thing that ever happened to our family, and while her presence by my side at Ooh La La was missed, as it is every morning when I sit in my empty Jeep pulling up to Starbucks, I know that she and other rescues, like Einstein Clooney, are forever grateful for the warm and wonderful homes their adopted humans provide. Like the popular saying goes, “Who Rescued Who?”

My Throwback Thursday movie this week is “Solaris.” Clooney is easy on the eyes, the flick has a tie to Lake Mead and Boulder City and its subject matter really puts family and our choices into perspective as we start to approach the holiday season.

Tanya Vece is a ghostwriter and independent marketing specialist. She can be reached on Instagram @TanyaLVece.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.