On the Silver Globe

FRIDAY NIGHT FILM

Directed by

Directed By Andrzej Żuławski

One of the boldest science-fiction epics never finished is now available in its restored form in the UK for the very first time.

 

When a group of astronauts crash-land on a dystopian, Earth-like alien planet they must form a society to survive. As the years go by, civilization has descended into savagery. The planet’s indigenous creatures, the monstrous bird-like Szerns, have enslaved the humans and it’s up to a savior from Earth to free them from captivity. 

 

Exiled from Communist Poland after his 1972 film The Devil, eccentric filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski was invited back to his home country to adapt his granduncle’s novel into a grandiose spectacle. Between 1975 and 1977 Żuławski set about his visionary work but about two-thirds of the way into production, the Polish government decided they’d seen enough and shut it down. 

 

It was not until communist rule ended in 1988 that Żuławski was able to release his film but in an unfinished state. With all production materials long destroyed, he had only his own narration to fill in the missing scenes. It’s not a perfect fix but these jarring transitions add to the film’s found-footage feel and while it’s certainly a challenging watch, nothing quite matches the otherworldly, dread-filled mood of On the Silver Globe.