Monday, January 01, 2007


(Originally posted to a certain movie nerd discussion group, all rights reserved)

> So: What's the ONE movie you loved this year that you wish everyone else would see? Maybe it's a tiny indie, foreign, or documentary that no one else here caught, or even heard of.

How about a tiny indie mockumentary that's largely in a foreign language? The point is, next to nobody saw it. Hell, it never even got a real commercial release, which is a shame, for if it did, it would certainly be one of my faves of '06. Ladies and gents, I give you Jim Finn's INTERKOSMOS.

If I could boil this down to a five-word pitch, it would go something like this: "Max Fischer Players in Space." Of course, if it was that simple, it would simply be a good time at the movies instead of the completely awesome original that it is. If anything, Finn's sense of humor is even drier and more obscure than Anderson's, and even more prone to random digressions, as when the film takes a break to explore the role of the guinea pig as a Communist children's symbol, or any of the strange musical interludes.

INTERKOSMOS tells the story of a collaboration between the Communist bloc nations to launch a (fictional) mission to explore and later colonize the moons of our solar system's outer planets. Much of the movie is in the style of an educational or industrial film- dry voiceover, "found" footage, models and diagrams of the proposed space colonies. But Finn isn't simply making a put-on, and with a short sequence of shots near the end, he re-configures the DNA of the entire film, turning a quirky comedy into a low-key but surprisingly poignant love story.

Supposedly INTERKOSMOS is coming out on DVD in the relatively near future, and I recommend that you guys check it out. If nothing else, you'll never think of that capitalist ditty "The Trolley Song" the same way ever again.

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