A small group of cosmic explorers leave Earth to find freedom and start a new civilization.
A small group of cosmic explorers leave Earth to find freedom and start a new civilization.
На серебряной планете, Le globe d'argent
A friend asked on Facebook who should be directing the Star Wars remakes, living or dead. Had I seen this film when he asked, I would have said Zulawski without hesitation. This is what a science fiction epic should look like, warts and all.
Forced by the Polish government to abandon filming while it was close to completion, Zulawski waited over ten years to complete this. Having reduced resources when he returned to it, the film fills the gaps with footage of some city (presumably in Poland or France) and Zulawski himself narrating what we are missing. These jarring transitions add to the found footage feel of the film in that they suggest someone on Earth is extrapolating what we…
Here is one planet dying and another planet beginning, the ambassadors of the former colonizing the landscape of the latter.
And so we begin the dawn of a new yet old civilization, astronauts who crash into nothingness and must create life out of nothing. They leave because their old one is stuck, in cycles of destruction where nothing changes. Humanity there sets itself back every time it takes a step forward, reaching the ceiling of human advancement. And so in the wake of their landing they must make anew, bringing with them the knowledge and culture of the old.
So time and time passes, the first generation slowly dying out until there is one old progenitor left and the new…
On the Silver Globe is a beautiful mess like nothing I have ever seen before, and a film most of you have probably never heard of. On the Silver Globe tells the story of a group of astronauts who leave Earth in order to find freedom. Eventually the begin a new civilization which leads to a lot of crazy cult-like shit that I don't want to spoil.
None of the flaws are really Żuławski's fault. The film is incomplete due to it being seized originally by the Polish Communist party(although Żuławski does a voiceover to fill in the story gaps), the translation is quite poor, and as far as I know, there is no decent quality version of this film…
Cosmic expressionism collides with Earthly philosophy. On the Silver Globe is opaque, often hysteric and consistently transgressive. Allegory showing the dangers and injustices of totalitarianism? Iconoclastic biblical rendering? Absurdist Sci-Fi epic? Andrzej Żuławski‘s opus is all that and more. The thinly veiled plot of a group of astronauts traveling to an unnamed, Earth-like planet is merely a canvas for Żuławski to paint his masterpiece; a mosaic of surrealism depicting the creation and eventual corruption of a fictitious civilization, which acts as a stand in for the Polish society he grew up in. The very same one that would halt the production of this film altogether, resulting in Żuławski’s visceral tour de force being left unfinished. Still, the film is a testament to…
Seems to contain the seeds of every art sci-fi film made sense. A strange, erotic, hilarious saga seen through a fish-eye that renders its slipshod narrative even more abstract. A film that reconfigures itself from shot to shot, and often within the same image.
"Are we the last of those who retain power, or the first of those who are defenseless?" -Someone,
This was worth the extra decade it took to make.
Prepare to have your mind blown by a film that transcends genre and the bounds of what I thought film could do. On the Silver Globe is a science fiction horror that is kind of found footage... but if the words found footage freak you out rest assured this is no boring shaky cam jumpscare film... this is the real shit. The film looks really messy at times but overall I would say this contributes to what I would describe as dream-like chaos aesthetic. The story is a great sociological quest through themes of inequality, religion, and power and the sci-fi elements of the story really popped for me. The final act is a tour de force which will stick with me for weeks to come.
History of a World, Part I
What if God Was One of Us?
If I had turned off the subtitles, this is a five star movie. As I get older I have less and less patience for dialogue that reduces characters to ciphers or mouthpieces that spout philosophical or political ideals. In this case it's more shout than spout, as Zulawski's weightless camera spins and rushes up to wall-eyed close-ups of bug-eyed crazies who flop and flail about as they verbally vomit every bit of existential anxiety they feel. It's as nagging and grating as being in a neurotic's head (I should know, I am one!). Nobody films anxiety quiet like Zulawksi.
Now THIS is science fiction
For every derivative Michael Bayish-blockbuster, for every Christopher Nolan-like faux-intelligent drama, there has to be a transcendent piece of cinema that completely reshapes our ideas of science fiction as a whole and it's portrayal on the screen. We've all seen films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stalker and Under the Skin and I can say without hesitation that On the Silver Globe should be added to this list.
The story can be separated into three different parts with all of them (probably) spanning hundreds if not thousands of years. The first part shows a small group of astronauts who have escaped earth to find freedom and create a new civilization on a distant planet. We…
something truly otherwordly, some surreal phantasmagoria is buried here under an exhausting harangue of existential noise, like a garbled psychic transmission auto-translated repeatedly until it degrades into an illegible and hyper anxious affectual texture. the grating maximalism obscures a much more compelling alien world whose atmosphere and culture we never get to fully experience.
there really is something that deeply compels me about the vision of this alien planet and the way it unfolds in time. stretches of coastline, evocative costuming, the city of the psychic birds. these are genuinely meaningful and powerful to me. it just seems like the film is somewhat at odds with itself. the self-importance and theatricality of its constantly screamed, impenetrable monologue overwhelms everything else.…
“You are an animal and yourself.... Is it only the animal in you that is alive? What about that which lives thanks to the animal?”
The most important thing to note about Zuławski’s “murdered masterpiece” is that it is very much an incomplete film. The gaps left in its narrative can’t be ignored and yet, even in its most incomplete state, this was one of the most transcendent movie watching experiences I have ever had (and yes I know that sounds dramatic).
Much like the discombobulated astronauts at the center of its story, On The Silver Globe is something any audience will need some time to adjust to in the beginning (with some dizzying camerawork that makes a probable cause…
Are we the last of those who retain power, or the first of those who are defenceless?
I'll start with some backstory about this film. On the Silver Globe was almost completed when a Polish politician —Willhemi— ordered to destroy all the negatives of this film. Apparently, Willhemi opposed artistic freedom and tried to compel the ideology of his party, communism and agrarianism, to the Polish people.
At the end, the negatives weren't destroyed, but the proyect was shut down. As a result of this, On the Silver Globe was left unfinished.
During the scenes of the film that could not be filmed landscapes or scenes from everyday life are shown while a continuation of the story is narrated by…
A very very different take on a ‘found footage’ kind of film and I appreciate a lot of what it’s doing here. The way that it’s filmed is one of the strongest elements of it because as a viewer, you feel sort of invasive and more of an active participant in the story, which can feel unsettling. It feels like it’s being filmed in someone’s backyard, which I think makes it more effective.
I also really liked with the aesthetics of this. It’s chaotic, weird and kind of dreamy but it still feels like something that could be real. Like a believable other world. I think something about the pacing and storytelling made this difficult to follow, which keeps me from loving it. But it’s an enjoyable watch if you just vibe with the screaming.
I was sorta relieved by the breaks in the film, it’s already so complex so listening to Zulawski speak directly about the plot provided some much needed clarity. Some very smooth and elaborate camera moves.
Still one of the most batshit I’m crazy films I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the most artistically and visually unique films I have seen: despite being unfinished. Unfortunately a pretty big chunk of forage was destroyed by Poland, along with a lot of the costumes. It’s a fascinating story of what happened, yet even unfinished, On The Silver Globe, remains to be a masterpiece. My favorite Andrzej Zulawski film remains to be his horror masterpiece Possession.
Usually avant-garde movies are a hit or miss for me. That’s probably my own fault, as I cannot comprehend all its artistic values in one viewing. Art films can also be preachy for me if it just babbles about some philosophy or whatever. On the Silver Globe, to put in simple terms, is the Polish 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s themes on civilization, religion, freedom, life, death, etc. is evident, but I couldn’t fully appreciate them due to the long and preachy dialogue and shaky cam. I even got lost with the film’s story at times. To me, the film was also about director Andrzej Żuławski’s own reflection and failure on this film, as production was shut down due to…
Of the many films I've seen this ranks as one of the top 5 films I so desperately wanted to love but ended up hating. So imaginative and visually extravagant however so poorly written and impossible to follow, regardless of the fact that it's incomplete.
Zulawski's Dune. An incredibly ambitious and obviously troubled production. The plot, the portions of which I could parse, reminded me a bit of the Le Guin story Planet of Exile. The production design here is wild, really going for its own unique aesthetic, especially in the costumes. As usual, the musical choices are often baffling. Probably could've used about 20 minutes less monologuing but a fascinating film.
Favourite part: Piotr in the sea having an absolute real time.
An absolutely stunning achievement in filmmaking marred only slightly by government interference.
I should read about it a little. Interesting story about the film inside the film, which never quite finished production.
Some very wild stuff in here. Amazing production design throughout.
Reminds me a lot of Hard to Be a God, but is not quite as accomplished as that.
Delightful world-building. The first third about establishing a human society in a strange world is probably the best. After that it 's allegory and fantasy that doesn't get me quite so much.
The philosophical soliloquies were very good, as that sort of thing goes.
Avatar meets The Revenant meets Dune. Except better than any of those.
Zulawski was a true original. This is his crowning achievement, and one of the greatest science fiction films ever made.
What better compliment can you give a film like this than it feels 100% alien. The performances, the costumes, and the set design are extravagant yet believable. This feels like found footage from a real extra terrestrial society. :P
The cinematography is on another level. Think Chivo, but 30 years earlier. Intense wide angle sequences running and sweeping through one chaotic landscape after another.
Obscure, but worth the watch. Here's the link I saw it at: exmilitai.re/film.html
Disappointed, due to how much I love Possession, this served to be more of a conflicting watch for me.
There's a lot of great ideas here, but the execution of all of those ideas is so goddamn confusing. The first half is easily the best part (with interesting inclusion of found-footage style filmmaking), but the second half completely lost me. I also don't like the narration which is used to fill in the one-fifth of the film that is missing, but there's not really much which can be done about that.
As a whole, On the Silver Globe really does feel unfinished.
B | 78%
Did I understand this movie even remotely? No. And yet, was I, for 2 hours and 45 minutes, fascinated? Also, no.