Seven films to conquer space


Tired of the news from Earth? At a time when Thomas Pesquet and six other astronauts are aboard the International Space Station, here are some weightless works, light, philosophical or ecological, to gain height.

“Aelita” (1924): the planet Mars, new territory of real socialism

The young engineer Loss sets out to build a machine to travel through space. In the meantime, he dreams of what Martian civilization would be like, a distant semi-feudal parliamentary matriarchy. He also imagines that his wife cheats on him with a black market trafficker and shoots her, no doubt still a victim of the stubborn patriarchal prejudices of those who have not read Alexandra Kollontai. Believing to have killed her, he flies to Mars accompanied by Goussiev, a faithful soldier of the Red Army, and followed by a policeman who intends to arrest him. On the spot, Goussiev and him take the head of the revolution and undertake to bring down the regime before being betrayed by the duplicitous queen of Mars.

Produced in 1934 by Mejrabpom studios, Aelita, with its sets signed Isaac Rabinovich and Viktor Simonov as well as its costumes imagined by Alexandra Exter, influenced many filmmakers, starting with Fritz Lang and his Metropolis (1927), and many ways of imagining space in the cinema. But if the cosmos appears to be the site of the revolution to be accomplished, it is the reality of Earth which turns out to be more prosaic and rich in unresolved contradictions. Persistent criminality, creeping bureaucracy, nostalgia for the tsarist regime, amorous jealousies are far from describing a society definitively transformed by the October Revolution and testify to the persistence of a past which does not want to pass completely and of an ideal which is struggling to survive. to happen. Undoubtedly one of the reasons why, after its public success, the film was for a long time difficult to see in the Soviet Union. Jean-Francois Rauger

Soviet film by Yakov Protazanov. With Yuliya Solntseva, Nikolai Tsereteli, Valentina Kuindzhi (2 hours). On FilmoTV.

“Nudes on the Moon” (1961): the cosmos is a nudist colony

Nus sur la Lune (Nude on The Moon) is a naturist film, a picturesque sub-genre devoted to the exhilaration of life in the great outdoors.

In the list of women neglected by the official history of cinema, it is undoubtedly appropriate to add the prolific producer-director Doris Wishman, queen of what has been called sexploitation, a parallel category and underground of American cinema. Signed with the pseudonym Anthony Brooks and co-produced with Raymond Phelan, Naked on the moon (Nude on The Moon) is representative of its first period, that of naturist films, a picturesque sub-genre devoted to the exaltation of life in the great outdoors in the simplest device and promising the viewer shots of pretty naked women.

You have 78.11% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.