This is a singularly ugly film, shot with incredible beauty. Dead Man’s Letters is by far the best known of Konstantin Lopushansky’s films here in the U.S. It is also the least of them – at least of the ones I have seen. It is neither as harrowing as the absolutely brilliant and indescribable Visitor […]Read more "Dead Man’s Letters [Pisma myortvogo cheloveka] (1986)"
(aka: Dark Planet: Rebellion; The Inhabited Island: Mêlée; The Inhabited Island: Skirmish) This is part two of the recent adaptation of a novel by the Russian SF writers, Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, a film I suspect may have been made at the same time as part one. While the first film (see my review here) ended […]Read more "Obitaemyy ostrov: Skhvatka [Inhabited Island 2: Rebellion](2009)"
For no particular reason, I seem to have spent my weekend on a Soviet SF binge, watching this film, Moon Rainbow and Inhabited Island (made long after the fall of the wall). Although this one is supposedly a joint Soviet and Czech production, it is in Russian and some invented “primitive” language. In many respects, it […]Read more "Podzemelye vedm [The Witches Cave] (1989)"
This is a remarkably beautiful film. It is, of course, a Russian attempt at making the sort of big budget, big effects SF we’ve been making here in the US lately. And, again, of course, it should come as no surprise that it is quite different from the American product. Which is just fine in […]Read more "Obitaemyy ostrov [Inhabited Island] (2009)"
(Mild Spoilers ahead!) For no particular reason, I seem to have spent my weekend on a Soviet SF binge, watching this film, The Witches’ Cave and Inhabited Island (made long after the fall of the wall). First off, ignore the title. I know it sounds like the title of some Anime kiddie princess show with […]Read more "Lunnaya raduga [Moon Rainbow] (1983)"
In 1936, years ahead of the West, the Soviet Union began an epic program to create the first manned space rocket. Or at least that’s what this extraordinary faux documentary would have us believe. In 1939, a mysterious fireball crashed to Earth in Chile. In 2005, the team of researchers making the documentary travel there […]Read more "First on the Moon [Pervye na Lune] (2005)"
Ray Bradbury has rarely been well served by the movie adaptations of his work. Or is the situation really that dire? Somehow one forgets that there have been several quite good adaptations: Fahrenheit 451 is excellent, even if it is more Truffaut than Bradbury, and Something Wicked This Way Comes is nearly perfect – or it would be […]Read more "The Veldt [Veld] (1987)"