Ikarie XB 1 (Jindrich Polak, 1963)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Ikarie XB 1.

criterion logoJindrich Polák’s pioneering feature Ikarie XB 1 is a cornerstone of modern science fiction cinema.  Based on Stanislaw Lem’s The Magellanic Cloud, this enigmatic film follows a crew of 22nd Century space explorers to their destination, the Alpha Centauri solar system, where they hope to make contact with extraterrestrial life.  On their way, they struggle with the boredom of interstellar travel, meet the dangerous legacy of 20th Century Earth, and battle the effects of a Dark Star’s radiation.  Punctuated by Zdenek Liška’s brashly electronic score and the careful compositions of cinematographers Jan Kalis and Sasa Rasilov, Ikarie XB 1 merges high concept and high art to produce a profoundly influential and highly atmospheric vision of space travel.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored 2K digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Isolated score by Zdenek Liška
  • New video tribute from director Ari Folman
  • New interview with film critic Glenn Erickson comparing the film with its American-International cut, retitled Voyage to the End of the Universe
  • Except from a documentary about Stanislaw Lem, the author of the film’s source novel
  • Plus: A booklet featuring a new essay by director Alex Cox, a 1998 interview with director Jindrich Polák by Czech science fiction magazine Ikarie, interviews with Polák’s wife Zuzana Polaková, assistant director Hynek Bocan, actor Radovan Lukavský, and Czech science fiction author and journalist Ondrej Neff.

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