This is an absolutely fascinating and rather beautiful 1936 Soviet science fiction film that foretold how a future 1946 moon mission would work. It’s got incredible zero gravity effects, miniature models of a fantastic space ship on a launch ramp, and very cool technical details like filling the cockpit with fluid to buffer the cosmonauts from launch forces. Then there’s a marvelous sequence on the surface of the moon with excellent stop motion animation inter-cut with live actors. Apparently, the Soviet censors banned the film after a short but successful first run because they felt the cosmonauts were having too much fun on the moon. They were right. These characters go hopping and bounding about with so much joy it’s almost an embarrassment. Citizens of the Soviet Union were not supposed to be happy.
Don’t worry about understanding Russian. The film was shot as a silent and is more or less a completely visual experience.
It was directed by Vasili Zhuravlov, but what’s really most interesting about the production history is that Constantin Tsiolkovski, a Soviet scientist and professor, became enthusiastic about putting some of his theories on space travel into a film. He consulted with the filmmakers in an attempt to lend verisimilitude to the moon voyage. Many years later, Werner von Braun credited Tsiolkovski’s calculations as having been correct.
So here is a old Soviet film that went to great lengths to get many of its details right.
In 1965 Pavel Klushantsev made this Soviet film about how a voyage to the moon might happen. I’ve seen and posted other footage from this great science fiction director, but this is interesting because its color has been restored to saturated magnificence. Don’t worry that you can’t understand the Russian language. Just watch and enjoy the 60s communist enthusiasm! You will be treated to astronauts cavorting on the lunar surface while wearing space suits that look to me like nearly perfect adaptations from popular speculative illustrations of the time. The technical detail of this film is really quite amazing. NASA might want to refer to it while trying to re-acquire its lost Apollo knowledge.
It is apparent that Kubrick had his eye on this director’s work as he prepared to make 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you know that film, you will catch the shots I’m talking about.
A Happy New Year timelapse video shot by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. It was made by Giacomo Sardelli who downloaded NASA images which he then edited into a timelapse film of extraordinary beauty.
Red Bull is a drink company that I always associate with a general low-brow, trailer trash sort of existence. Chances are if you are drinking Red Bull you are an abject fool in a tank top. Maybe you’ve got a tattoo right at the top part of your ass. You’re just a lumbering primate who thinks they need some extra energy. Okay? Deal with it.
But this former Air Force parachutist is preparing to jump out of a balloon capsule from 23 miles up wearing a pressurized suit that will allow him to survive a supersonic fall from the edge of space. That’s pretty interesting because you just have to wonder if he will make it in one piece. Can a person re-enter earth’s atmosphere from space? I’m sure one can. I enjoy this little advertising film for the live stream of the jump. Hopefully, the stream will actually show us something in the next few days since inclement weather has so far delayed the jumper, Felix Baumgartner.