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Outer Space

This year’s Offscreen festival travels to the far ends of the cinematic universe in search of cult cinema pearls and science-fiction classics. In order to naviguate the vastness of the genre, Offscreen has focused its telescope on the pre-digital effect era of sci-fi, on the adventursome exploration of interstellar space and on exotic planets, in most cases in search of extraterrestrial life forms…

Science-fiction inspires the most extravagant fantasies and obliges filmmakers to invent new universes using the "magic" of special effects. But most of the time, our representations of elsewhere and the future are nothing more than a reflection of our contemporary, terrestrial preoccupations, revealing much about the time and culture in which the sci-fi is made. In some cases, such as with the Soviet Block countries, these imaginary parables about the far side of the universe allowed filmmakers to detour controversy and censorship. So we now present you with a small selection of different looks at the world and the universe, here at Nova and also at the Cinematek.

Koo !

During the festival, Nova will be your spacecraft, transporting you from black holes and asteroids to strange creaures and cosmic radiation. Will the artificial gravity system be installed in the bathrooms during the voyage? We’ll see when the festival opens!



In The Dust Of The Stars

Im Staub der Sterne

Gottfried Kolditz, 1976, DDR, 35mm, ov st ang, 95'

The Cyrno crew is sent to investigate a call for help and lands after six years of space travel on TEM 4. There they discover the customs of the planet’s inhabitants, The Temiens, and find themselves guests at a shocking party, a kind of 70s roman orgy. Their hosts deny having sent a distress call and curiously, the crew starts to show signs of memory loss disguised as hangovers. It quickly becomes clear that one part of the population is not partying hard... More than 15 years after "Die Schweigende Stern" (see below), the DEFA gets its hands dirty and proposes unforgettable dance scenes in a film where cleanly styled beards mix with short, colored hairdos and dresses of all shapes and sizes. The screenplay and production are resolutely in symbiosis with the zeitgeist, preceding and recalling episodes of Buck Rogers. Planet TEM is actually Romania, and the country’s landscape, salt mines and mud volcanoes lend themselves admirably well to the film.

11.02 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


Luigi Cozzi, 1978, IT, 35mm, vt ang st fr & nl, 94'

The title doesn’t lie: we are truly in the presence of the Italian answer to a well-known, lucrative film by George Lucas. So don’t be surprised to see light sabres, jumps into hyperspace, a talkative robot, an Emperor, a text prologue that disappears into infinity, a huge final battle scene, etc. But in this film, the princess is a prince, the hero is sexy (dressed in a bikini with a disco collar!), the stars are multi-colored, the Emperor is nice... basically it’s a kind of space opera spaghetti. The cast is equally impressive and varied, with Joe Spinell as a larger-than-life bad guy, the scantily-clad Caroline Munro, and at their sides Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhof (that’s right!) and a few local actors. John Barry is another big name contributor with his brass-laden music. Great special effects and lights, with director Luigi Cozzi (alias Lewis Coates) coming in person for the screening!

11.02 > 24:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


Georgi Daneliya, 1986, USSR, 35mm, ov st fr & ang, 135'

In the 80s-era Soviet Union, an engineer and a young pseudo-violinist find themselves accidentally transported to a desert planet. It’s the beginning of an amusing and fascinating odyssey following not only the tradition of great classic tales but also that of 1980s science fiction. A true product of the times, this film is filled to the brim with amazing discoveries (it would be criminal to give them away
here!) and draws on situational comedy techniques as well as on language, gesture, sound, costumes and sets to create a critical and harrowing comedic discrepancy.
And though the esthetic sometimes reminds one of "Star Wars" or "Mad Max 3" with its rusty, sun-drowned atmosphere, the cultural references are based more in the Slavic literary and cinematographic traditions, a gold mine of the absurd, often reminiscent of Lewis Caroll’s or Douglas Adams’ England.

12.02 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€


The Silent Star

Der Schweigende Stern

Kurtz Maetzig, 1960, DDR, 35mm, ov st ang, 93'

An international crew boards the Kosmokrator on an expedition to Venus, pooling their skills in order to understand the strange phenomena taking place on the planet. The tension reaches breaking point, dangerous radiation is being emitted, and there are doubts whether the crew will be able to avoid a catastrophe like the one they faced on the Moon several years prior. This film is the first large-scale production by DEFA, the East German film studio, and the first film shot in TotalVision, their version of CinemaScope. Intended to be ready for the country’s tenth anniversary, several versions of the screenplay were necessary before the studio and the government could come to an agreement, which included dropping Yves Montand and Simone Signoret as possible lead actors! The sets, and the Kosmokrator, are magnificent, as well as the multi-purpose robot that is a gifted chess player but takes a lot time to move from point A to B. And of course, the classic nylon string technique is used to simulate gravity as well as bring to life the metallic Venusian insects.

13.02 > 18:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi > 10€ / 7,5€


To The Stars By Hard Ways

Cherez ternii k zvyozdam

Richard Viktorov, 1981, USSR, 35mm, ov st ang, 118'

Niya, a steely-eyed, long-limbed humanoid from the planet Dessa, is discovered by Russian astronauts in an abandoned spacecraft. This saga narrates Niya’s dizzying experience alongside her human hosts, her unusual powers gradually revealing themselves as she seeks to make sense of the disjointed memories that haunt her. The question of her humanity - or lack thereof - is the thread through which her story is woven, stitching together her past regarding an exceptional scientific find, her present as a disoriented alien on Earth, and her future in a heavily polluted Dessa, ruled by the psychotic dictator Turanchoks. Psychedelic sequences and surreal outer space drama inevitably ensue in this unjustly neglected feature, once a huge hit among the Russian youth of the 80’s and spawning hundreds of Niya lookalikes. Prepare to feast your eyes on this rare gem, where a futuristic Soviet-led generation, witty robot housekeepers, half-bearded aliens, and dwarfish villains collide!

13.02 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi > 10€ / 7,5€


Planet of Storms

Planeta Bur

Pavel Klushantsev, 1962, USSR, 35mm, ov st ang, 83'

Man’s first mission to Venus is unexpectedly jeopardized when a meteor shower destroys one of the starships sent by the Soviet Union, leaving the operation at a standstill. Two of the crewmembers (along with a heavy-set robot named John) descend unto the foreign planet, only to fall victim to the harsh conditions below. The ensuing rescue mission is at the core of this regrettably abused sci-fi treasure, which prompted American-backed imitations such as "Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet" and "Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women". Based on a novel by Aleksandr Kasantsev, "Planeta Bur" proves to be an exceptional delivery among the space-race films of the 60’s: characters contemplating the possibilities offered by the space age and speculating on the origins of life in the universe replace the usual laser gun antics of mainstream culture. Klushantsev’s lo-fi special effects lead to surprisingly convincing visuals, making this otherworldly adventure certainly worth the plunge.

13.02 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi > 10€ / 7,5€


John Carpenter, 1974, US, 35mm, ov , 83'

Carpenter’s first film and a reinvention of the space odyssey, even though the genre was already considered passé and boring. The "Dark Star" spacecraft is designed to destroy any planets that deviate from their trajectory and are thus at risk for collisions with their star, which could create a supernova. Although destruction and devastation might seem thrilling, it’s a totally other beast when you’ve been at it for more than twenty years! Such is the case for the spacecraft’s crew: a bunch of beatniks in Hawaiian shirts that seem plucked directly out of rock bands from the sixties. Bored by their endless voyages from one solar system to another, they wander like zombies through the halls, aimlessly floating like their vessel through the cosmos. Everything is calm until a visitor arrives...

18.02 > 24:00
5€ / 3,5€


Destination: Uranus!

Oh Darling, Uranus is beautiful tonight.

Attention, people of Earth. Brace yourselves, for tonight we are launching a manned mission to Uranus! Our rocketship will smoothly approach Uranus’ atmosphere and do a soft landing on its cracked surface. For your pleasure, our mighty crew will be exploring the wonders and mysteries of the dark side of Uranus. We will first discover the danger lurking in the hostile caves inside Uranus with the film "Journey To The Seventh Planet". Then, we will be graced by the visit of a local inhabitant, the Man from Uranus, who will perform live music from the traditional repertoire of Uranus. Finally, party will take over, invite all your friends and Uranus will shine until dawn!

25.02 > 22:30


Sidney Pink, 1961, DK, 16mm, vt ang , 83'

A low-budget sci-fi gem that owes everything to the director’s resourcefulness. Sidney Pink recreates the landscape of a distant planet, Uranus, to which explorers are sent in order to search for signs of life. There they fall under the spell of a mysterious creature who can read into their deepest fears and fantasies and then tries to break them down by creating, before their eyes, their homeland Denmark... full of beautiful Danish women! A good part of the film therefore actually takes place in a typical rural Danish village. Space in the studio was so restricted that the actors, who felt they were always in the same spot, had to make absolutely sure they weren’t walking too fast, otherwise they’d walk right off the set! The film’s producers thought the film lacked action, so they decided to shoot additional scenes with monsters popping out of the neighboring studio and add optical effects or even use rushes from other movies in the final edit. Despite, or rather thanks to, these obstacles and interventions, the film is a charming example of sci-fi kitsch, full of sparkling colors and a surrealist, psychedelic atmosphere.

25.02 > 22:30
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


Concert

Man From Uranus

+ Outer Space Party

After the movie and a small break, a new departure is scheduled for a live show by Man From Uranus, firts name: Phil. This crazy extraterrestrial artist-savant, originally from Florida, lives in Cambridge where he’s established a cosmic musical research lab, the Advanced Centre for Outer Music. Nobody knows whether his bizarre sounds were intercepted in the cosmos or created here on Earth with the help of his powerful machines (Moog, Theremin, Walkman, oscillators and various synthesizers). But it doesn’t really matter: he produces a unique sound, amusing and gritty electro-vintage, a timeless kind of space jazz, moonbase muzak that takes us to a faraway world orbited by the spirit of the Residents, Jean-Jacques Perry, Raymond Scott or even Sun Ra and Stockhausen. He’s even crossed paths with Felix Kubin, Faust, Pram, Broadcast and Ann Shenton (Add N to X) and tonight, he will take us on an audiovisual journey between Uranus and Jupiter before bringing us back to SuperNova where we’ll finish the evening with an Outer Space Party!
To Uranus and beyond !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9R1...

25.02 > 24:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


Planet Of The Vampires

Terrore Nello Spazio

Mario Bava, 1965, IT, 35mm, ov it st ang, 88'

Two interstellar spacecrafts, the Argos and the Galliot, receive a distress call from a desolate planet named Aura. The Argos, piloted by the stoic Captain Mark Markary, attempts to land on Aura after abruptly losing contact with the Galliot, thought to have been pulled into the planet’s atmosphere. Things take a turn for the bizarre as the members of the crew suffer from a strange convulsion that prompts them to attack one another. The Captain’s acuteness temporarily prevents any bloodshed, but the crew is left agitated in regards to the strange power that overtook them, suspecting it to be behind the disconnection leading to the Galliot’s disappearance. What follows is a series of perplexing finds as the crew of the Argos quickly discovers the fate of their fellow space travellers as well as the source of their recurring bouts of "space madness". Mario Bava, better known for his garish horror films and giallo, makes this hallucinatory foray into science fiction a memorably hypnotic showing.

26.02 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


William Marshall, 1961, US, 35mm, ov , 82'

It’s the year 1980, and what should have been another routine spaceflight goes terribly wrong when an American ship is unexpectedly tugged into the gravitational field of a huge, misshapen asteroid. A crew led by Captain Frank Chapman is promptly dispatched in order to learn more about the fate of the lost ships. Irresponsible decision making and a fatal input in the flight coordinates result in an outer space soap opera amid the tiny inhabitants of Rheton, where Frank finds himself reduced to a six inch tall prisoner. Forced to remain on the asteroid, Frank enlists the help of Zetha, a dark and silent beauty, and Liara, Rheton’s local princess. However, an invasion of the asteroid by the monstrous Solarites seems imminent, which hinders Frank’s escape plans. A B-fest of Liliputian proportions, William Marshall’s brainchild offers enough inane scientific theories and kitschy fodder to make this Mystery Science Theater 3000 favorite worth revisiting.

26.02 > 24:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


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lang: en
id_rubrique: 1480
prog: 1478
pos: aval