A Soviet Space Odyssey
August 18, 2010 5:30 PM   Subscribe

Road to the Stars (Doroga k Zvezdam, 1958) was a remarkable Soviet documentary about the future of space exploration, directed by the "Godfather of Star Wars" and still admired for its impressive miniature effects. Watch the entire film.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (7 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

Please please please tell me there's a link with subtitles available.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:28 PM on August 18, 2010

Marvellous to the nth degree
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:48 PM on August 18, 2010

posted by mwhybark at 6:52 PM on August 18, 2010

If I wasn't in the future and using the internet on a plane, I'd totally watch this right now.

(damn slow plane internet)
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:41 PM on August 18, 2010

I'll put in vote #5 for awesomeness. There's a few of his other films on Youtube (search results link) including "Road the the Stars" - "Луна" (Moon), "Mapc" (Mars), and "Планета бурь" (Planet of Storms). All six parts to "Moon" are there and all eight parts of "Planet of Storms" (it's the only one with English subtitles, it seems), but "Mars" seems to be missing part three.
This is a very good find, and really helps with a project I'm working on, and I'd have missed it completely were it not for this post. Thanks!
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:29 PM on August 18, 2010

(Also awesome is the space kitty, which goes to show that cats can even be totally unimpressed when they're in space, for god's sake. little furry bastards.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:40 PM on August 18, 2010

Just watched the whole thing—thanks very much for the post! For those who don't speak Russian: the first half is a bio of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, which is well done but without subtitles may be skippable; it's up to you. (Oddly, after almost twenty minutes of following him through his childhood and years as a nearly deaf teacher in Kaluga, his trials and tribulations, his publications, the film drops him without a word, not even mentioning his death in 1935; I guess that's the triumph of the collective over bourgeois individualism for you.) At 22 min. we get to Sputnik, and at 23:40 we take the leap into an imagined future, following the first men (Soviet, of course) to orbit Earth; at 38 the film moves to a vividly realized space station, with departments for astronomy, meteorology, biology, and so on, and luxurious personal quarters (41:48—cat!). At 44 begins the final sequence, a manned flight to the moon; after brief fantasy images of Mars, Venus, and Saturn, we return to "reality" and (at 48) the first step on the moon's surface. Really splendidly done, and I'm glad to have gotten the chance to see it.
posted by languagehat at 8:01 AM on August 19, 2010

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