Thursday, November 10, 2011

Aelita, Queen of Mars - 1924

Country: Soviet Union
Language: Russian (intertitles)
Director: Yakov Protazanov
Writers: Aleksei Fajko, Fyodor Otsep and Aleksei Tolstoy (play)
Stars: Yuliya Solntseva, Igor Ilyinsky and Nikolai Tsereteli
Release Date: 25 September 1924 (Soviet Union)
Also known as: Aelita Soviet Union (original title); Aelita Greece / Hungary (imdb display title) / Poland / Portugal; Аэлита Soviet Union (Russian title)
Aelita - A Rainha de Marte Brazil; Aelita - Der Flug zum Mars Germany; Aelita: Queen of Mars International (English title); Aelita: Reina de Marte Argentina (imdb display title); Revolt of the Robots USA (subtitle)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Engineer | Spaceship | Proletarian | Radio | Telescope | Murder |
Queen | Revolution | Propaganda | Totalitarianism | Robot | Police | Silent Film |
Mars The Planet | Sidekick | Secret Police | Suspected Adultery | Slave | Martian
Film Within A Film | Inventor | Communism | Alien Contact | Husband Accused Of Murdering His Wife | Skyscraper | Future | Construction Work | Flower Shop | 1920s
False Accusation | Space Time | Husband Wife Relationship | Kiss | Orphanage | Food Shortage | Architecture | Surrealism | Flying Machine | Soldier | Soviet Union | Voodoo | Marriage | Refugee Camp | Daydream | Epic | Good Versus Evil | Outer Space | Rebellion | Jealousy | Informant | Accused Of Murder | Cryptography |Expressionism | Based On Play | Based On Novel | Character Name In Title
Genres: Adventure | Drama | Fantasy | Romance | Sci-Fi
This movie became such a hit in the Soviet Union that many new parents named their little girls "Aelita". This was director Yakov Protazanov's first film after returning to the Soviet Union from his exile in Paris. At the international exhibition of decorative arts, 1925 Paris Expo, Yakov Protazanov was given an award for this film.
This is called the first Soviet science fiction film because of its "futuristic" sets on Mars, although most of it takes place in Moscow. The movie is set at the beginning of the NEP (New Economic Policy) in December, 1921. A mysterious radio message is beamed around the world, and among the engineers who receive it are Los, the hero, and his colleague Spiridonov. Los is an individualist dreamer. Aelita is the daughter of Tuskub, the ruler of a totalitarian state on Mars in which the working classe are put into cold storage when they are not needed. With a telescope, Aelita is able to watch Los. As if by telepathy, Los obsesses about being watched by her. After some hugger-mugger involving the murder of his wife and a pursuing detective, Los takes the identity of Spiridonov and builds a spaceship. With the revolutionary Gusev, he travels to Mars, but the Earthlings and Aelita are thrown into prison by the dictator...

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