2009-01-29

It Came from Behind the Iron Curtain

Science-Fiction was always a common vehicle to transport political and social utopia (or dystopia), despite of the political system in which it was produced.


The movies loved Sci-Fi as a great way to sell fear, paranoia or subversive concepts with the use of exciting visuals.
Sci-Fi from the Eastern Block is either hailed as great art (Tarkovsky) or it is basically forgotten like these:

"Через тернии к звездам" - (aka. Per Aspera ad Astra or Humanoid Woman / To the Stars by Hard Ways) is a 1981 sci-fi film, directed by Richard Viktorov in the Soviet Union.

Here is a short scene set to a piece of the soundtrack by Alexey Rybnikov. I love the dominant moog bass, the eerie synths in the background and the anachronistic harpsichord on top of it. Together with the strange and dreary mood of the pictures it creates a very Chernobyl-esque atmosphere. I found the last images of people standing in submerged ruins especially impressive. Since gas-masks freak me out I will probably have nightmares tonight.



Enough of doom and gloom!


You have to watch the next clip! It´s bizarre, beautiful, funny and very relaxing (thanks to the wonderful Russian language). "Moscow-Kassiopea" was a sci-fi movie for children. Directed in 1972 by the same directer as the above, it directly rips off "2001" in a hilariously fantastic way - you know: for kids! Check the colourized landscapes and the monolith, which looks like a wooden door. The aliens look like the Pet Shop Boys, ca. 1993 and towards the 7 minute mark you won´t trust your eyes when a space ship corridor turns into a trippy night-club.



Speaking of DISCO:
Here is more of "Moskwa-Kassiopeja" set to great 70s communist disco music from East Germany. I can´t say enough how utterly amazing this is! Daft Punk had nothing on this!

See kosmonaut-twinks floating weightlessly through their space-ship to the totally tripped out Moroder-esque "In den Kosmos" (into space) by Stern Combo Meißen. This was recorded in 1978, one year after "I feel love"!


Hoch im All (up there in space) is so future-positive that you´d like to travel back in time to enlist for the Russian space program.

1 comment:

Pablo said...

Hi in Russia Richard Victorovs films is more important than Tarkovsky, Its like Star Trek for americans. Simple true sci-fi movies.