Sputnik

edu – 6 Russian films about space explorers.

On the eve of the premiere of the thriller “Sputnik”, we decided to follow the theme of space exploration in Soviet and Russian cinema.
In April 1961, a new era began for humanity — just as in the era of Great Geographical discoveries, people mastered the Earth, so in the middle of the XX century, it was time to go beyond it and look into the blackness of the Universe. Step forward — step back: we are still marking time on the threshold, gaining strength and courage to move on, but the imagination of writers and screenwriters works to the fullest, going through all possible scenarios. There are realistic scenarios, there are fantastic ones, there are fabulous ones, and there are absolutely phantasmagoric ones — you have to provide for everything.
Sputnik (2020)
In the 2020 film “Sputnik”, the action will also nostalgically move to the past, but-to the past is not real, but fantastic. 1983, USSR, a spacecraft with one living cosmonaut returns to Earth from orbit. The second one is dead, and what happened on board while there was no communication with the ship is unknown. The survivor is kept in a secret bunker, and neurophysiologist Tatyana Klimova is asked to talk to the patient and find out what is wrong with him.
According to the creators of the picture, they very carefully monitored the accuracy of the scenery of the spacecraft, repeating everything down to the fonts on the buttons of the control panel, and for the scenes inside the device, they borrowed real spacesuits “Sokol-KV2” in Roscosmos. Even a neurologist was involved for consultations. This meticulous attention to detail works for the main thing — the authenticity of the sci-fi part of the plot and the psychological drama that follows it. You can see how it turned out on ivi from April 23, 2020.
Time of the First (2017)
And now came the future that people hoped for when they launched the first satellite — that is, our time. It turned out to be different: we don’t walk around Mars in sneakers, or even fly to the Moon for a weekend. Everything turned out to be more complicated than the enthusiasts saw in the 60s and 70s. But we have cool technologies that allow us to draw space in a way that takes your breath away. And also-nostalgia for the past, in which there were dreams.
Therefore, for an epic space picture, a real story about the flight into orbit of Alexey Leonov and Pavel Belyaev was chosen. Then, in 1965, for the first time in history, a man went out in a spacesuit into an airless space. Stunning views, immersing the viewer in an unusual and dangerous environment, made him completely forget everything that concerned the earthly part of the plot. The creators of the film tried so hard to make the space scenes as realistic as possible, so carefully worked out every detail that they even held the degree of tension a little. “In fact, it was even scarier,” cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, a participant in the described events, said after watching the film.
Salyut-7 (2017)
Following the “Time of the First” in the same 2017 year, another space thriller was released-about the accident in 1985 at the Soviet station “Salyut-7”. For repairs, an extremely dangerous operation, a team of two astronauts is sent into orbit. This story is also based on real events, however, the names of the heroes have been changed, since the biographies of the prototype cosmonauts and some facts of their risky flight have undergone some transformation.
Managing to stay within the production novel, the plot of Salyut-7 is extremely tense and claustrophobic, a lot of graphics, impressive scenes, suspense and the necessary minimum of pathos-people work in the end. The main space hit — “Grass at Home” – is responsible for the aching note of sadness for the heroic past.
The Taming of Fire (1972)
In 1972, one of the best historical films of the USSR about the conquest of space — “The Taming of Fire” – was released. Production-biographical drama works, as befits any decent work of Soviet art, in line with the traditions of socialist realism-a hero burning with enthusiasm, a romantic aspiration to the future, a belief in the inevitability of man’s conquest of space, no doubt, only moving forward. The main rhythm is set by the music written by Andrey Petrov, which constantly, like a locomotive, pushes the hero to act-impulsively draw drawings, climb into a fire, jump off a cliff,argue and stare at space.
The prototype of the engineer in “Taming the Fire” was the chief designer of rocket and space systems Sergey Korolev, but his name in the film is Andrey Bashkirtsev. It is believed that this is a collective image: the film in the 70s only opened the veil of secrecy over the Soviet space program, so that under the fictitious names of all the characters in the film, the names of rocket designers and rocket technology that were classified at that time were hidden.
Solaris (1972)
But the heroes of the best science fiction drama about space, shot at the same time by Andrei Tarkovsky, look into the abyss and see only their reflection there. In the story, a bunch of rather shabby-looking scientists live on a station that revolves near the planet Solaris. People study the planet and slowly go crazy, because the ocean planet, in turn, studies them. And it is not easy to survive, because in trying to find a common language, the planet resurrects for them the ghosts of the past, appeals to their memory and almost cuts to the living. You could call this movie a thriller, if not for the feeling that the characters move and think slowly, as if the air around them is as dense as water.
Solaris is a place for doubt and reflection. Does man need space and other worlds? Are people ready to face a fundamentally different mind? What are we really looking for? Where can we painfully stumble over ourselves?
Through the Thorns to the Stars (1980)
In the combination of pre-perestroika melancholy and still living ideas about the triumph of reason, the fairy-tale film “Through the Thorns to the stars”is born. This is a story about a wonderful world of the future, where a crew of simple hard workers lives, saving other people’s dying planets and adoring their work. A beautiful and kind story about love for people drags us home, to Earth in today’s day and asks us to look at our home planet-so small and defenseless. In the last century, filmmakers did not yet have the grandiose possibilities of visualizing the cosmos that we have now, so music is the main means of creating an impression. And in this film, the composer Alexey Rybnikov managed to create something unearthly-inviting towards the unknown and the miracle.
In general, when it comes to space, our cinema prefers serious facial expressions and thorough tasks-to make sense. The main thing here is not to stop there and make more interesting films.