Richard Viktorov – Cherez ternii k zvyozdam AKA Per Aspera Ad Astra (1981)

bdws Richard Viktorov   Cherez ternii k zvyozdam AKA Per Aspera Ad Astra (1981)

thgc Richard Viktorov   Cherez ternii k zvyozdam AKA Per Aspera Ad Astra (1981)

Quote:
To the Stars by Hard Ways was first released in 1985, and the print being screened at Fantasia is the newly restored version that was shorn of 20 minutes and re-edited by the director’s son Nikolai Viktorov in 2001. Once given the Mystery Science Theatre treatment in a truncated version known as Humanoid Woman, To the Stars by Hard Ways has gained a cult-classic status among Russian youths who were attuned to the film’s blend of pop social commentary and stunning visual alchemy. The latter is a result of a varied cinematic style which incorporates poetic touches of Tarkovskian influenced naturalism (“earthy, organic” set design), shifting colour patterns (between sepia, monochromatic blue and saturated nature imagery), and simple yet inventive in-camera special effects (slow motion, reverse, dissolves, mirror shots etc.). To the Stars by Hard Ways functions marvelously well on multiple levels — as a trippy science-fiction social critique of environmental neglect, as a campy treat of mod visuals and Star Trek-influenced human and alien characters, and as a retro Communist propaganda piece. Even with these at times radical shifts in tone, the film remains a genuinely moving existential space opera.
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Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin (2013)

cvpj Jonathan Glazer   Under the Skin (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jonathan Glazer   Under the Skin (2013)

Quote:
Jonathan Glazer‘s film is a gorgeous piece of film-making that leaves the narrative heavy-lifting to the viewers as it eschews a traditional setup and instead relies on visuals to clue us in as the story progresses. Expect complaints similar to those hurled at Upstream Color, that the story is unclear or convoluted, but such accusations are as baseless here as they were with Shane Carruth’s film. The details may be elusive, but the steadily engrossing narrative is clear. Continue reading

Yakov Protazanov – Aelita (Аэлита) AKA Revolt of the Robots (1924)

aelitaposter1 Yakov Protazanov   Aelita (Аэлита) AKA Revolt of the Robots (1924)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Yakov Protazanov   Aelita (Аэлита) AKA Revolt of the Robots (1924)

Directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov made on Mezhrabpom-Rus film studio and released in 1924. It was based on Alexei Tolstoy’s novel of the same name.

AllMovie wrote:
The Marxist struggle reaches outer space in this fanciful Russian science fiction film from the silent period. Los (Nikolai Tsereteli) is an engineer who dreams of traveling to other worlds and imagines that a beautiful woman named Aelita (Yuliya Solntseva) lives on the planet Mars. Frustrated with the petty political conflicts that are a big part of life on Earth, Los builds a spaceship and travels to Mars, where he discovers that the lovely Aelita really does exist and is Queen of the Planet. However, the realities of political struggle do not escape him; it seems that the Martian proletariat are attempting to rise up and take power just as the Russian rank and file did, and Los once again finds himself standing between the ruling leadership and the workers attempting to take control of their own lives.
4/5
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Mikhail Karzhukov & Aleksandr Kosyr – Nebo zovyot AKA The Sky Calls (1959)

l0hf Mikhail Karzhukov & Aleksandr Kosyr   Nebo zovyot AKA The Sky Calls (1959)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Mikhail Karzhukov & Aleksandr Kosyr   Nebo zovyot AKA The Sky Calls (1959)

Quote:
A Soviet scientific expedition is being prepared as the world’s first mission to planet Mars. Their space ship Homeland has been built at a space station, where the expedition awaits the command to start. An American ship Typhoon experiencing mechanical problems arrives at the same space station, secretly having the same plans for the conquest of the Red Planet. Trying to stay ahead of Soviets, they start without proper preparation, and soon are again in distress. The Homeland changes course to save the crew of Typhoon. They succeed, but find that their fuel reserves are now insufficient to get to Mars. So Homeland makes an emergency landing on an asteroid “Icarus” passing near Mars, on which they are stranded. After an attempt to send a fuel supply by unmanned rocket fails, another ship Meteor is sent with a cosmonaut on a possibly suicidal mission, to save the stranded cosmonauts.
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Aleksei German – Trudno byti bogom aka Hard to be a God (2013)

jd1n Aleksei German   Trudno byti bogom aka Hard to be a God (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Aleksei German   Trudno byti bogom aka Hard to be a God (2013)

Based on the novel of the same name, Trydno byt bogom (AKA Hard to be a God) has been transferred to film at least once before. Frustrated explorers from Earth observe the chaotic and oppressive lives of a society on a distant planet that has yet to progress beyond the middle ages.
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pixel Aleksei German   Trudno byti bogom aka Hard to be a God (2013)