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St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s History Department Presents “Comrades in The Cosmos: Soviet Science Fiction Film Series”


September 18, 2012
Press Release #12-103

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The History Department of St. Mary’s College of Maryland is pleased to present “Comrades in the Cosmos: Soviet Science Fiction Film Series.”

The Soviet Union had a great tradition of science fiction, which has remained largely unknown in the U.S.  These films dramatize issues of the threats and potential of technology, the limits and nature of humanity, and fear of the other, with some class conflict and socialist utopian dreaming thrown in.  They also showcased stunning special effects, which now come across as pleasingly retro.

Each film is open to the public, free of charge and will be shown in the college’s Cole Cinema at 8:00 p.m.:

Sept. 25:          “Aelita” (Iakov Protazanov, 1924, 104 minutes)

A rocket engineer dreams of a Communist revolution on Mars, where everyone wears Constructivist clothes.  A Soviet Metropolis.

Oct. 11:           “Planet of Storms” (Pavel Khlushantsev, 1961, 78 minutes)

Could Venus be the birthplace of humanity?  Will carnivorous plants eat our heroes before they find out?  Anticipates Ridley Scott’s Prometheus by 50 years.

Oct. 23:           “Pilot Pirx’s Inquest” (Marek Pestrak, 1979, 95 minutes)

Paranoid androids plot to take over a spaceship on a flight to Saturn and kill Pilot Pirx.  Based on a story by Stanislaw Lem.

Nov. 6:            “Amphibian Man” (Gennadii Kazanskii and Vladimir Chebotarev, 1962, 97 minutes)

Will the son of a scientist live his father’s dream to flee the corruptions of the world to an underwater paradise?  Do gills make the man?