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Space Is the Place (1974)

R  |   |  Sci-Fi, Music  |  November 1974 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 516 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 12 critic

Sun Ra--space-age prophet, Pharaonic jester, shaman-philosopher and avant-jazz keyboardist/bandleader--land his spaceship in Oakland, having been presumed lost in space for a few years. ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Deloney ...
Candy
Sun Ra ...
Himself
Raymond Johnson ...
The Overseer (as Ray Johnson)
Erika Leder ...
Tania
Christopher Brooks ...
Jimmy Fey
La Shaa Stallings ...
Bertha
Sinthia Ayala ...
Chili Pepper
Clarence Brewer ...
Bernard
June Tyson ...
Arkestra member
Morgan Upton ...
Agent #2
Walter Burns ...
Agent #1
Tiny Parker ...
Tiny
Sam Bankhead ...
Sam
John Gilmore ...
Arkestra member
Marshall Allen ...
Arkestra member
Edit

Storyline

Sun Ra--space-age prophet, Pharaonic jester, shaman-philosopher and avant-jazz keyboardist/bandleader--land his spaceship in Oakland, having been presumed lost in space for a few years. With Black Power on the rise, Ra disembarks and proclaims himself "the alter-destiny." He holds a myth-vs reality rap session with vblack inner-city youth at a rec center, threatening "to chain you up and take you with me, like they did you in Africa" if they resist his mplea to go to outer space. He duels at cards with The Overseer, a satanic overlord, with the fate of the black race at stake. Ra wins the right to a world concert, which features great performance footage of the Arkestra. Agents sent by the Overseer attempt to assassinate Ra, but he vanishes, rescues his people, and departs in his spaceship from the exploding planet Earth. Written by Jim Newman <jnew@sirius.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Music

Certificate:

R
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Arkestra: Space Is the Place  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director 'John Coney (I)', the film utilized a sound stage that was controlled by 'Artie Mitchell' and 'Jim Mitchell (IV)', who were concurrently filming Behind the Green Door (1972). The production teams from both films shared the sound stage expenses, as well as the sound stage itself: the riser on which the Arkestra performed was also used by the Mitchell Bros. for "other purposes." See more »

Quotes

[Drunk walks into Sun Ra's employment agency]
Drunk: My man, what's happenin?
Sun Ra: Everything is happenin.
Drunk: What is this... I mean what... where am I? Who is you?
Sun Ra: I am everything, and nuthin.
Drunk: Nuthin? Well you betta tell me about this nuthin stuff, cause, uh, I need a job. I... I don't know what to do.
Sun Ra: What have you been doin lately?
Drunk: Uh huh uh, nuthin, really, nuthin.
Sun Ra: How long have you been doing nuthin?
Drunk: Quite some time. Quite some time.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

Ra was cool, including on the set.
15 March 2004 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I was credited as 2nd unit director on this film. Ra was a calm, sort of surreal Buddha through the whole thing, even one time when the script called for him to be tied-up in a chair and menaced by gangsters. During the many hours it took to get this scene on film, Ra just quietly sat tied-up in that chair, so quietly that a couple of times I went over to make sure he was still breathing. He said he was fine, just relaxing on "another plain".

Near the end of the shoot, we had a nightclub scene with about 70 extras and a chorus of girls on stage. They were supposed to dance to a tune that Ra insisted on playing live on camera with his band. I had been bugging him unsuccessfully for days as to what he was going to play so that the girls could rehearse.

On the day scheduled to shoot this scene, I nervously reminded Ra again about the music. Ra smiled, casually produced some old vinyl albums done by other bands and a portable record player, and suggested that I play them for the chorus to see what they liked. I did, and they caught fire with one of the tunes. Ra said "Fine. You got any music manuscript paper?" I was ready for him. I did.

And so, during lunch break, Ra listened to the record, transposed the instrumental lead sheets to paper for his band with a few of his own alterations, and we choreographed and shot it after lunch.

For my money, Ra was a fine musician...extremely cool and really "there".


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