Russia's first big budget science fiction spectacular. "Aelita, the Queen of Mars" is a fantastic adventure about Los, an engineer living in Moscow who dreams of Aelita and builds a spaceship to take him to her. They fall ... more »in love, but Los soon finds himself embroiled in a proletarian uprising to establish a Martian Union of Soviet Socialist Republics!« less
Michael B. Sterling | Austin, Texas USA | 08/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a work of totally visionary science fiction from an utterly vanished revolutionary Soviet Constructivist world. Which is weirder: royal life on Mars, or the fact that this film somehow got produced and distributed?The sets and costumes are utterly mindboggling. This is my favorite work of science fiction cinema.Bruce Sterling"
A fascinating look at an era and style
D. Mitchell | 02/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Surprisingly watchable, for a silent film, and very well preserved. The Constructivist sets and costumes are amazing, a revolutionary art style before the later supression of expression and innovation in the Soviet Union (this film was later banned by Stalinist critics). Even the images of life on Earth, in the early days of that nation, are quite interesting."
Impressive Classic, surprisingly far from the book
John Woods | San Diego, CA, United States | 04/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've read the book by Alexey Tolstoy, but I have not seen the movie until today. You'd think that in the 20's they tried to be close to the original, but not in this case - the movie is quiet a bit different from the book. Warning: spoilers ahead! Where in the book most of the action happens on Mars, in the film our hero doesn't get to the red planet until into some time the second hour of the movie. In the book Aielita dies after taking poison, Los' tastes something bitter on her lips, but it's too late. In the movie Los' kills Aelita, and then realizes that the whole shebang was a dream.
It's a good movie non-the less. The actors' play is wonderful, and many parts are funny.
The DVD doesn't have any features - just an index with shortcuts to different parts of the movie. "
After leaving the hall of cinema, I asked to myself how could this movie to surmount the ideological prejudices and brutal censure, if presumably didn't count with a kind overlook by part of adverse enemies of the regime. Because the whole contain of the underneath message was terribly mordacious.
An engineer decides to design a spaceship to try to find in Mars the woman of his dreams. Until now everything s works; but when he arrives to the red planet he finds a Proletarian upraising. This film not only inspired the genial mind of Fritz Lang but since its release has been an portentous document in the history of cinema.
This smart collection of elements: danger, humor and love were the primordial factors that could stand the inquisitive scrutiny of the Big Russian Brother; the iron fist ruler, and certainly the most bloody tyrant in the XX Century.
Marxist ethics on Mars
KNO2skull | United States | 01/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aelita, Queen of Mars is certainly a gem of a movie. Made in 1924, it is a look at how Communist philosophy plays out in speculative fiction during the silent era. Purportedly, it was made on a fantastic budget, and the sets on Mars show it. The costuming for the Martian aristocrats concerns styles that were non-existent at the time, and seem to have arrived out of the 50's American Sci-Fi films. The Martian sets were indeed, outlandish and worth getting the DVD just to see.
The story is slightly weak, attempting to cover too much ground and too many genres for the amount of time presented. However, it does not detract from the important historic value of the picture and the simple enjoyment of watching the tale unfold.
The film displays the humorous exploits of the Bourgeoise Zie, and the stark poverty the Proletariat suffered in 1924 Russia.
In a way, this film could be an equal criticism of both. It takes an inordinately long time for the main character to reach Mars, although Mars is shown throughout the film, following Aelita, queen of Mars as she goes about.
The DVD has no special features worthy of note. The average scene selection and nothing else, but the restoration work is excellent, keeping true to even the few parts of the film that were intended to be poor quality. It is truly a film worthy of being presented on DVD."