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On the Silver Globe - Andrzej Zulawski (1988)

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Uploaded on Aug 20, 2011

Most can cite 'Solaris' or 'Stalker' as science fiction masterpieces while 'On the Silver Globe' is certainly under the radar. Such an artistic tragedy it must have been for Zulawski when the Polish government condemned the film and ordered it to be destroyed only to be salvaged together afterwards with many missing scenes which had to be overdubbed. The film has a group of people who extradite themselves from Earth and set their course unknowingly to a life permitting planet. Immediately you see the distinction of characteristics. The female lead becomes the sensitive Earth mother to repopulate the planet, another maladjusted with the seizing of power and opportunity, another the 'Socratic' old man who stands everything up to his tautology, and finally a man beckoning at the end of his life for the group to take an austere and honest view of their position and reality. The providence of such vision is forgotten and in a sort of eating of the forbidden fruit manner the female character repopulates the planet. They go through the exact symptoms of Earth's spiritual history not as if by ignorance they were condemned to repeat it but more so as necessary development towards the backdrop of a total human experience. In response to the Shamanistic lifestyle adapted the Socratic old man sends back a message to Earth and an Earth inhabitant follows it's trace only to be embraced as some sort of messiah (alluding to Christianity) and is eventually crucified as such. This film is a profound philosophical journey which seems to show what we would romantically describe of space travel as the ultimate emancipation or progression of mankind seems to recant only our profound symptom. The discoveries which we signify are not the great mysteries but why we place signification on such discoveries and our eventual total impulse towards understanding. If not my favorite film by possibly my favorite director it's most certainly near the top. To end with a quote from Zulawski which sums up what I think all directors should aspire to. 'To please the majority is the requirement of the Planet Cinema. As far as I'm concerned, I don't make a concession to viewers, these victims of life, who think that a film is made only for their enjoyment, and who know nothing about their own existence'.

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