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"A Brief History of Soviet Sci-fi" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2020 7:45 p.m. PST

"While they are now regarded as singular masterpieces of world cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris and Stalker descended from a long tradition of science-fiction filmmaking from behind the Iron Curtain one that was heralded by the visually dazzling epic Aelita Queen of Mars in the silent era. In the notes below (originally written for a 2012 TIFF Cinematheque retrospective), cult-film aficionado Todd Brown offers a tour of some of the less-famed but no less fascinating examples of Soviet sci-fi.

The science-fiction tradition in the one-time Eastern Bloc was as rich and varied as anywhere in the Western world, and the region's film output is every bit as diverse as our own, ranging from art-house fare to populist comedies, hilariously cheesy space operas and grand adventures. And while there are some instances of open propaganda, there are also strains of sly satire as well as evidence that the camp and excess of the swinging '60s didn't completely pass the Soviet world by. We present below a broad range of Soviet-era science fiction, a mix of acknowledged classics and outright pulp from Russia, the former Czechoslovakia, Poland and Estonia. Bearded ladies, post-apocalyptic wastelands, robot companions, vampire cars and outbursts of random dancing await join us, comrades!…"
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Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2020 8:03 p.m. PST

Awesome stuff. Thanks.

emckinney16 Nov 2020 11:27 p.m. PST

There's some academic work on Soviet science fiction, the meaning of Mars in the Soviet Union, and how I drove the real-world Soviet space program. (Spoiler: the Soviets initially couldn't understand why anyone would want to go to the moon …)

Huscarle17 Nov 2020 4:57 a.m. PST

Most helpful, I'll be getting Dead Mountaineer's Hotel thumbs up

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2020 11:27 a.m. PST

Happy you like it boys! (smile)


Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2020 12:10 p.m. PST

You drove the Soviet space program…?

Eclectic Wave17 Nov 2020 1:23 p.m. PST

Hey I read Dead Mountaineer's Hotel, didn't know it was made into a movie, might have to track that down.

Covert Walrus17 Nov 2020 1:51 p.m. PST

I have some favorite Soviet-era SF, one in particular features two aliens who land on the bottom of Earth's Atlantic ocean, and make some guesses about the deceased crew of a submarine they find, which are not altogether wrong. However, they wonder why they never find any living civilizations, and one suggests that most societies, unlike their own, never survive the Atomic age intact.
then one asks the pertinent question- Why do they never look for intelligent life on the surface of planetary landmasses? Could life and intelligent life at that, perhaps have developed to survive outside the ocean?
his colleague points out that the average star of a habitable world like Earth's sun, puts out too much UV light for any prokaryotic life form to survive, even multicellular ones like themselves. And there is no conceivable form of life outside prokaryotic life.

The assumptions we make, huh?

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