In the 21st century Ray Peterson, reporter for the Interplanetary News, is assigned to write a story aboard a space station. Tension mounts between Peterson and the station commander, who ... See full summary »
Rik Van Nutter,
An alien being with the power of invisibility lands in Santa Monica. Killing two people who attacked him due to the menacing appearance of his spacesuit, the creature takes it off while ... See full summary »
After a six year journey, the Spaceship Cyrno lands on the planet TEM 4 from where they had received a call for help. Strangely enough, the Temers deny having sent this message. As ... See full summary »
In 2020, after the colonization of the moon, the spaceships Vega, Sirius and Capella are launched from Lunar Station 7. They are to explore Venus under the command of Professor Hartman, but... See full summary »
Space pilot Ijon Tichy, travels in his three-room-rocket together with his holographic and/or hallucinogenic colleague Halluzinelle and the ugly dog-like extraterrestrial being Mel. The conflicts between the bad feelings of Halluzinelle about the stubbornness of the space pilot always end up in difficult situations in which it is the mission to find the most irritating solution as possible.
Eight space cargo-ships disappear without a trace within three days. And the orbit station "Margot" has suddenly fallen silent. The space council is faced with a mystery and the scientist ... See full summary »
(U.S. Version) A mysterious magnetic spool found during a construction project is discovered to have originated from Venus. A rocket expedition to Venus is launched to discover the origin of the spool and the race that created it. Written by
Leo L. Schwab <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The German version contains a reference to one of the professors having his career stalled when he was thrown out of the university by the Nazis. Director and co-writer Kurt Maetzig had his career stalled by the Nazis because his mother was Jewish. See more »
At the beginning of the movie where Professor Harringway is presenting the crew of the Cosmostrator to the Press and TV audience the American Brinkman is present. But shortly after Brinkman, the first American to step foot on the Moon, is introduced as he arrives piloting a jet. See more »
The amazing imaginative fiction author Stanislaw Lem wrote this visually stunning East German space exploration film with a dated but still thoughtful message. The Sets of Der Schweigende Stern are detailed and beautiful - giving the film an amazingly alien feel. The cinematography varies from excellent to mediocre, and the visual effects are cleverly done - relying on actual props and set devices as opposed to split screen and blue or green screen trick photography. Lem's plot is poignant and well-paced, but, unfortunately, most of the acting in this film is a bit difficult to watch. Finally, the overuse of voice-over narration in the early part of the film detracts from its otherwise good artistic and technical merit.
The story begins with the discovery that, in 1908, an extraterrestrial space vehicle crash landed on earth. An electronic recording from the ship is recovered and linguists set about trying to decode its message. An international team of scientists, astronauts and engineers who are scheduled to undertake a manned flight to Mars are then diverted to Venus to make contact with the Venusians. On the way, they decipher the electronic "cosmic document" and learn that the Venusians were planning to attack the earth using nuclear warheads. To venture further in the plot would involve spoilers.
This is a film full of mysteries, and a film of its time - near the height if the cold war. A powerful point concerning the proliferation of nuclear arms is well made in this film, though it is perhaps the only truly predictable aspect of the plot. Lem's plot heavy brand of highly imaginative science fiction is very dense reading and often carries similar ethical messages, but rarely translates well into visual media. This is a worthy effort, maintaining the slightly wild and surreal feel of Lem's aesthetics and yet driving forward the film's plot at an entertaining pace.
Recommended for Lem fans, serious sci-fi film fans, and those interested in the connection between film and the social history of ideas. Unfortunately for Der Schweigende Stern, the average movie fan won't be able to handle this one.
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