On the Silver Globe (1988)

Is it wrong to write a post about a movie I couldn’t finish? Too bad. This one is interesting enough that I’d like to talk about it, even though I’ll make no bones about the fact that halfway through this movie I’d decided I hated it and went to bed.

On the Silver Globe is a Polish science fiction film released in 1988. It had begun filming in 1975, just a few years after the director Andrzej Żuławski came back to Poland after leaving to avoid censorship from the Polish government (thank you, Wikipedia). Two short years later, he got booted out again in the middle of shooting this film, because the minister of culture found it too politically allegorical.

Żuławski was ordered to destroy anything associated with the film, which was nearly complete at this point. Lucky for someone, he didn’t. The scenes of the film that are missing are replaced by narration explaining the plot, set to random shots of nature and city life.

The plot, I actually like: it’s about a small group of astronauts who leave earth for what seems to be the pursuit of freedom. Some of them die, but luckily a female survives and so she pushes out babies to help populate this new planet with human life. Babies on this planet, apparently, grow at twice the rate of their earthling counterparts and, before long, the new planet is populated with barbaric humans. Their culture

If you can handle 2.5 hours of this, you’re a much better person than I.

seems to be based on the idea that the astronauts who first landed on the planet are gods, or something like that…

I’m sure a lot more happens after that. But, unfortunately for me, I could only handle an hour and a fifteen minutes of the philosophical agony (expressed in English with tiny, white subtitles, mind you, flashing on the screen at warp speed, no less) experienced by nearly everyone in this movie. And while I will say the movie looked beautiful, the dark blue tint really started dragging me down. I’ve never seen anything so bleak and difficult. If what folks say is true, the movie only gets moreso towards the end. Q says he might make me finish it someday. We will see about that.


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