Voyage to the End of the Universe (Ikarie XB-1)
Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Jindřich Polák. 1963, 88 mins. Imported 35mm print from the Czech Film Archive. With Zdeněk Štěpánek, František Smolík, Dana Medřická. In Czech with English subtitles. Ikarie XB-1 is an ambitious science fiction space opera, possibly best known for prefiguring many visual and thematic motifs of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. This “Space Marienbad,” as one critic called it, perfectly epitomises an era defined by a raging space race and cultural competition between the East and the West. The film portrays an idealised communist civilisation circa 2163, as it embarks on a voyage beyond our solar system. Its real protagonist is a monumental discovery spaceship Ikarie, a self-contained world in miniature designed to impress an international audience with its vision of a highly advanced lifestyle, as imagined by a small socialist country. Like the rest of the film, its 22nd-century costumes are steeped in the ideology of utopianism, something that is especially driven home when “ancient people” of the twentieth century are discovered on a derelict ship deep in space.
Tickets: $15 ($11 seniors and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for children under 3 and Museum members at the Film Lover and Kids Premium levels and above). Order tickets online. (Members may contact [email protected] with questions regarding online reservations.)
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