Monday, September 21, 2009

On the Silver Globe (1988)

Okey, I've been sitting for fifteen minutes now staring at the monitor. Don't know how to put On the Silver Globe in words. Andrzej Zulawski started the production in 1976, got shut down by the government in 1978 and started to work again with it in 1986 and released it in 1988. It's based on his uncle, Jerzy Zulawski's books, and is a movie that is totally unique!

Three astronauts survives a crash on the dark side of the moon. The discover a big sea, forests and endless deserts. They can breath and slowly manages to survive, stranded in this strange place. Together they create a new, inbreed, society on the moon. They created new gods and demons and starts to worship them. Many years later one of them sends out a small rocket back to earth with years of footage, and earth sends an astronaut to examine what really happen. When he arrives he soon becomes a human god, a christ-figure, who leads a rebellion against the other occupants of the moon: the Sherns, a winged race of bird-like creates that only communicates telepathically...

This is a small fraction about the movie. It dosen't do it justice really. Almost the first hour of the movie is a classic found footage-movie (much like Cannibal Holocaust or Blair Witch), but spanning over at least fifty years. It looks fantastic, and the locations are huge. Deserts, sea, mountains - it feels dreamy and almost unrealistic, though it's there for everyone to see. We're watching this new society getting more and more advanced in their new religion, weird rituals and also getting more bloodthirsty. One the astronauts he moving back and forth between this new way of life and the realistic way of seeing it. And it's also him that finally sends the footage back to earth.

Because the movie never was finished, Zulawski himself narrates unrelated footage of "todays" Poland, explaining whats happening. He tells fantastic things and it's a pity it was never filmed. But somehow it works to, especially in the end which get's very powerful only listening to Zulawskis final instructions and seeing his reflection in a window.

Yes, it's arty. But it's never boring, though it can be very dialogue-heavy and... may I saw pretentious? But I like that, and as long they have something interesting to say that's fine with me. The visuals is never boring, and they use some amazing places. The last part of the movie is shot in the Salt Mine Wieliczka, something that looks like a big deserted polish old city and in some cool post-apocalyptic ruins. Zulawski is Zulawski and spreads a nice layer of very bizarre images all over the movie to. From big orgy-scenes (it's a lot of nudity in this movie), people impaled in the ass with huge poles and a lot of beautiful surreal images of rituals, life, death, nature, "Sherns" and everything else inbetween.

I watched over the course of two days, because it's a lot to analyze. I won't go into symbolism and the religious and political themes, because a lot of other people have done that. But I tell ya: watch it and see for yourself...


Phantom of Pulp said...

Great review, Fred.

Did you watch a new DVD or a VHS?

I'm aching to see this.

Ninja Dixon said...

Thanks Phantom!

I have a polish box-set, with three of Zulawskis productions. Great set, english subtitles and good quality (and cheap too!).

Rebus said...

amazing film...but a difficult to see for many is a great work banned but hopefully recovered...thx a lot!