Streaming: Ikarie XB-1

(Voyage to the End of the Universe)

Digital Restoration of the Full-Length Version
December 11, 2020–March 31, 2021

One of the most original and exciting science fiction films ever made. Immaculately filmed . . . beautiful and austere. The effects are second to none.

Alex Cox, The Guardian

Zdenek Stepánek, Radovan Lukavsky, Dana Medrická, Miroslav Machácek,

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A landmark in Eastern European science fiction, the cool, modernist Ikarie XB-1 won several international awards for its clinically intellectual approach to the genre, an approach that seemingly cleared the way for such future works as Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Pavel Jurácek’s prescient script involves themes that would later appear in other classics of the genre: the dehumanizing chill of space travel (2001), for instance, or the discovery of a ship of the dead and the horror that awaits therein (Alien). Ikarie XB-1 follows the crew of a spaceship as they contact an abandoned craft, then go slowly, steadily insane. The black-and-white ’Scope photography creates a sense of cold, claustrophobic madness, prowling through the film’s architectural sets as if looking for something, anything, life-like, yet disturbingly finding only steel. The film was purchased by Roger Corman’s American International Pictures, where it was chopped up, dubbed, and rereleased to some cult success as Voyage to the End of the Universe.

Jason Sanders
  • Jindrich Polák
  • Pavel Juráček
Based On
  • the novel The Magellanic Cloud by Stanislaw Lem

  • Jan Kališ
  • Czech
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • Digital streaming
  • 88 mins
  • Janus Films