Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ON THE SILVER GLOBE (1987) -
Andrzej Zulawski


See this poor bastard impaled on a pole? This is kinda what it felt like slogging through Zulawski's two hour and forty minute sci-fi epic over the course of two nights. A 30-foot pain in ass.

It's hard to come down too harshly on Globe if you know the backstory. First, it was a family affair, a labor of love based on Zulawski's granduncle's three-part science fiction opus. Second, the Polish government shut Globe down mid-filming, the vice minister of cultural affairs fearing it was somehow subversive (rather than just ponderous). Third, a lot of the footage was destroyed (though later reclaimed), forcing Zulawski to fill in the blank spots with explanatory narration over shots of everyday Poles moving through modern day Warsaw. In short, the whole affair was f'ed in the butt from the beginning.

Some great surrealist images survived though. The woman with eyes painted into her hands. The cave full of naked people writhing atop each other. This guy who just got stoned (no, the other kind of stoned)...


But, sadly, Globe is mostly crashed astronauts and new planet natives spouting pseudo-philosophical gibberish, feverishly and often directly to camera. It got to the point where I started to think turning off the subtitles might make for a better show. If David Lynch's Dune and Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain hooked up, had a baby, then aborted it mid-term, it might look something like On the Silver Globe. A freakish experiment that was robbed of its mother (Zulawski) much too soon.

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