Lucas before Lucas, Scott before Scott, Kubrick before Kubrick. A visually groundbreaking Czechoslovak sci-fi movie written by Pavel Juráček and Jindřich Polák (who also directed the film).
It is the second half of the 22nd century and a spaceship called Ikarie XB 1 is on its way to Alfa Centauri to search for extraterrestrial forms of life. Its crew, made up primarily of scientists from various fields, being far from our solar system, is exposed to unknown and unimaginable dangers. At the same time, though, it also carries a number of ordinary human worries as well as joys. Kališ´s black and white shots in a wide screen format alongside with Liška´s innovative electronic music and convincing set pieces and clothing create a stylistically refined fictional world of a distant future. In addition, the matter-of-fact type of performance by the best Czech actors from the time period add a natural feel while also providing a psychological layer to it. The script writers drew some of their inspiration from a novel by Stanisław Lem called The Magellanic Cloud. It is also worth mentioning the fact that they resisted the politicization that sci-fi films of that time frequently were subjected to which often made them fairly superficial. Instead of pitting two rivalling systems against one another, thus creating an obvious East versus West division, they depict the hope for a better, morally more advanced humankind vs the “riff raffs” of the 20th century, which did not leave anything but disasters in their wake. [text by NFA]
Director: Jindřich Polák
Screenplay: Pavel Juráček
Music: Zdeněk Liška
In collaboration with the National Film Archive and the Ponrepo cinema.