On the Silver Globe

1988 [POLISH]

Adventure / Drama / Fantasy / Sci-Fi

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IMDb Rating 7.3 10 2569

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 17, 2021 at 02:05 AM

Cast

720p.BLU
1.48 GB
1204*720
Polish 2.0
NR
24 fps
2 hr 45 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Yaaatoob 7 / 10

As intriguing and imaginative as it is impenetrable.

This ambitious Polish science-fiction film first began production in 1975, but in 1977, with eighty percent of filming complete, the Polish government ordered production to stop and all sets, costumes and footage to be destroyed, over fears that some themes present in the film were an allegorical criticism of Poland's communist rule. The surviving reels of footage, smuggled out of Poland by the director and crew, lay dormant until the fall of communism and, although incomplete, the film was finally released in 1988. As much of the footage was lost or indeed never filmed, the narrative was incomplete and in a daring move Żuławski decided to narrate the missing scenes and include their destruction as part of the narrative, this narration being presented over footage of a busy Polish city that zips by the camera as Żuławski fills in the gaps, also providing clear dividing points between the three main acts.

The film itself deals with the cyclical nature of existence, the ethics of freedom, the power of belief and the dangers of allowing that belief to fuel ideology, all told through the anthropology of an emerging society created when three astronauts from Earth crash land on a distant planet. For the film's first act we follow the point of view Peter who records events on a video-camera, as he, Marta & Thomas attempt to survive and start a new life in the barren, alien wilderness. After Marta becomes pregnant and gives birth to Thomas' baby, the astronauts realise that the child is growing at an accelerated rate. The film jumps forwards erratically as we are presented with snippets of a society emerging in front of Peter's camera lens, as the astronaut's children grow to maturity and themselves begin to procreate. The children begin to deify their astronaut parents, who seemingly never age as generations pass. The first act ends with Marta and Thomas dead and Peter, now referred to only as 'The Old Man', alone in a society of his children who do not understand his ravings, nor why he will not die like the others and ultimately they begin to resent his presence. Eventually, Peter returns to his space-craft and sends his hours of recorded footage back to Earth.

The second act revolves around Marek, the owner of the space agency that funded the first mission, who himself heads to the planet to escape the pain of a lost love, only to find a savage, incomprehensible and divided society of people who have been awaiting his prophesied arrival. He is regarded as their messiah and through his eyes we are introduced to the advancements in the beliefs and structure of the society since we last saw them. Marek becomes embroiled in his role as deity, guiding the society under his rule and leading the charge against a race of bird- like creatures from across the sea called 'Sherns' who steal women to mate with and produce mutated half-human, half-Shern offspring. The final act takes place primarily on Earth, where another astronaut named Jack is attempting to discern what befell Marek's mission to the planet. He is caught up in an affair with Ava, the woman for whom Marek left Earth, and in a fit of drug addled depression he himself heads to the planet, only to find the people's messiah, Marek, crucified in grisly fashion. Ultimately, Żuławski is dealing with some heavy themes here, asserting that humanity has a need to continually create and destroy his gods, that without belief there cannot be understanding and that without understanding their can be no happiness.

The world Żuławski presents is stark and beautiful, the Baltic shores, Caucasus mountains and Mongolian desert providing the barren and isolated landscapes that so capture the imagination throughout the film, but also it's the wonderfully designed costumes and props and cold, grey-blue cinematography that lend these places a true alien feel. Overall 'On the Silver Globe' is as intriguing as it is impenetrable. The frenetic camera work launches us directly into the midst of the chaos on-screen, events later explained more by action than dialogue as characters descend further into erratic and emotional madness, exploring the reasons for their being and the world around them through pained and awkward ad-libbed philosophical diatribes. While the narrative is most certainly confused, partly because of the unique journey of the film's production and release, and partly because of the confounding dialogue, the over-reaching story told is one that still conveys a powerful message about the nature of belief in human society and the desire to comprehend our existence. While most certainly not a film for everyone, 'On the Silver Globe' is a tough two and a half hour experience to endure, but one that repays it's viewer's diligence with some compelling food for thought and some truly beautiful cinematic scenes.

Reviewed by arterybg 10 / 10

A rare, original, thought provoking masterpiece of Science Fiction.

Crazy original film.. trying to encapsulate almost everything about the human condition.. from simple human emotions, trust, love.. to opposition, hierarchy, religion, politics..how we perceive the world, the relationship between man and a woman, heavy philosophical and transcendental scenes.. the first 30 minutes are almost unbearable though.. at one point it got so boring, i could not sit still, i was going mental.. some people left the cinema.. mainly because of the heavy overly poetic and dramatic dialogue.. the rest is a joy for the imaginative mind.

It is based on a Sci-Fi novel, written by the grandfather of Zulawski. The novel had a great influence on Stanislaw Lem as he was growing up.

Mind-blowing stuff. A must-see for the serious cinephile.

Reviewed by loganx-2 8 / 10

The Broken Artifact

It's difficult to judge this film accurately because it is a fragmented damaged piece of an artifact, but like Micheloangelos armless David or the defaced Sphinx, the crack in the Liberty Bell, etc, broken things can still hold a remarkable power, perhaps more so than if they had remained intact. Polish authorities halted production of this film, confiscated and burned props, setts, costumes, and footage, leaving about 25 percent of the remaining film, instead of making a documentary about the horrors that befell him ala Lost In La Mancha(though Zulawski did have significantly more footage Gilliam), he includes the destruction of the film as part of the narrative. Those scenes which aren't intact are summarized through voice over from the director himself as hand-held cam(still dizzying Zulawski) tours an unmanned Polish city.

The story of On The Silver Globe is an adaptation of "The Lunar Trilogy" written by the directors Uncle Jerry Żuławski between 1901 and 1911(never published in English but popular in Europe), about a Space Crew landed on a distant moon inhabited by primitive humanoid creatures, who find a device which shows them the voyage of an earlier space flight to the planet made by pilgrims who crash or are seeking a new life(it's never clear at least in the film)where after the struggle to survive, begin the process of procreation, accept the children born on the planet grow at an extremely accelerated rate generations passing in less than decades. The first hour or so of the film is all p.o.v. handicam shots ala "Cloverfield", "The Blair Witch Project", "Diary Of The Dead", etc, we see only what the astronaut's see as they begin rebuilding civilization in their own fashion. We observe the culture, customs, architecture, and yes even fashion of the newly developing humans over generations which seem to pass in the time it takes the astronauts to grow facial hair. Because the astronauts age at a much slower rate, they become Godlike elders of the newly emerging(from incest) humans. The anthropological goings on in the background, are more interesting by far than the dialog which I can understand why other's might say sound like the ramblings of mental patients obsessed with meaning, feeling, and Godliness.

At first I thought the dialog was the result of hallucination and the stress of surviving in a new completely isolated environment, then as the astronauts die off, I thought again, this is is the result of this last mans increasing isolation(unable to communicate with his offspring who are in fear/awe of his existence, "Why don't you die?", as he wanders the village despondent). Then later I considered it was an affect of the planet, maybe even the Shern projecting some kind of madness(will address get to this later), and inevitably considered there was no reason for the obtuse dialog which does sound more often then not dubiously sane, as well as the possibility that their madness is somehow supposed to be a reflection of our own, as Native and Earth-born alike all seem equally psychotic, exploring the extremities of their environments, the former in collective ways war, torture, orgies, the latter in personal ways drugs, dementia, delusions of grandeur, but I digress.

The second half of the film shows us one of the astronauts who discovered the origins of the planet, being selected as the messiah( think of Earth as Heaven and you get the Biblical allusion to The Resurrection), by the natives who we come to realize are the descendants of the first mission. The new Messiah indulges in his Godking status, and deals with the threat posed by winged telepathic creatures called Sherns who kidnap and mate with native women to produce...lizard men? What follows is espionage, decadence, war, and delirious parade of fantastic and occasionally grotesque images(p.o.v. shots of men impaled rectally on 100ft stakes with their intestines hanging out, crucifictions, etc.)

All and all On The Silver Globe is a messy movie, brilliant visual poetry and an interesting anthropological concept somewhere between Ursula K Lu Guine and Alejandro Jodorowsky but predating them both by almost fifty years(date of the original story), coupled with an at times incoherent plot and obtuse dialog. Factor in that this film wasn't completed for political reasons, which Zulawaski does, each time he shows us real people walking around as he describes what the astronaut's did next, and you've got an interesting if imperfect jewel of a film. If completed in full it probably would not have been a masterpiece, though the first hour are some of the most naturalistic and oddly surreal images of coming to a new planet that I have ever seen in any SF film, however it would definitely have a loyal place as a cult classic snugly on DVD shelves somewhere between "The Holy Mountain", and "Dune". For adventurous literate film seekers a fragmented modern story of the cyclical nature of time, the destructive nature of hero worship and deification, and human cultural anthropology. Like the film found by the astronauts "On The Silver Globe" is a damaged and incomplete artifact, sacrificed and crucified before it's time like it's protagonist, while warning of the abuses of power and ideologies we accept and propagate which allow them to flourish, and which inevitably lead to this films own cancellation.

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