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Ikarie Xb-1 | Mud | Banshee | Hannibal | Hitchcock

Ikarie Xb-1

This seldom seen but significant Czech science fiction film from 1963 can almost be regarded as the missing link between the flamboyant outer-space movies of the 50s, such as Forbidden Planet, and the more serious, sterile and cerebral fare of the pre-Star Wars 1970s. Like 1972's Solaris, Jindrich Polák's film is based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem (The Magellanic Cloud in this instance) and concerns a mission to explore deep space, portraying the cosmos as an impossibly huge area full of dangers unimaginable to the puny human mind. There are plenty of holdovers from the film's groovy 50s forebears (the spaceship of the title even has a cocktail lounge); and visually it's a delight, the inventively lit sets conjuring a mood unlike any other movie of the era. The space-age trappings are also highly imaginative, from magnetic boots to tubes »

- Ryan Gilbey

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