Film (1924). Mezhrabpom. Directed by Yakov A Protazanov. Written be Fyodor Otzep, Alexei Faiko, based on Aelita (1922) by Alexei Tolstoy. Cast includes Igor Ilinski, Yulia Solntseva and Nikolai M Tseretelli. 78 minutes cut from 120 minutes. Black and white.
This striking example of early sf Cinema is a satiric comedy in which a group of Soviet astronauts travel to Mars, where they find the mass of the people living under an oppressive regime and spark off an abortive revolution; one of them teaches the lovely daughter of a Martian leader how to kiss. Aelita is a very stylized silent film; its futuristic, Expressionistic sets, by Isaac Rabinovitch of the Kamerny Theatre, were to influence the design in Flash Gordon. The sf elements in the story are vigorous and witty (though in the end, as was already a time-worn Cliché, it is revealed to be All a Dream), but occupy only a small part of the film. [PN/JB]
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