Celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary with these spaced-out flicks at Cinematheque

The Cinematheque is marking the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to the moon in an appropriately cosmic style—with an existential arthouse twist.

Beginning today, July 3, and until the 28th, the theatre presents restorations of science fiction classics and award-winning documentaries. The program A Spaced-Out July: Apollo 11’s 50th Anniversary includes a little-seen but visionary Czech film, a lengthy Tarkovsky meditation on existence, and of course Kubrick’s groundbreaking 2001. Find out more below.

Ikarie XB 1 (Icarus XB 1) (1963)—This Czech film inspired two of the other films in the series, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Andrei Tarkovskey’s Solaris (Solyaris). It’s based loosely on The Magellanic Cloud, a 1955 novel by Polish science fiction writer Stanisław Lem. In a review of the recently issued Blu-ray, backseatmafia.com called the film “a meditation on existence and a superior intellectual science-fiction… a thoughtful, inventive and beautifully crafted film.” Screening in a restored version.

A scene from the 1963 Czech film Ikarie XB.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)—Last year, director Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) oversaw a restoration that returned Kubrick’s classic to its original analog version, that is, the way audiences first saw it over 50 years ago. This is that version.

Solaris (Solyaris) (1972)—Perhaps better known for the 2002 Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney remake, Andrei Tarkovsky’s original (also based on a Stanislaw Lem novel) is a psychological drama that occurs mostly aboard a space station orbiting the fictional planet Solaris. In 2010, the Guardian called it the sixth best “sci-fi and fantasy film of all time.”

High Life (2018)—The Cinematheque caps its Claire Denis retrospective in June with screenings of her recent and highly praised science fiction drama High Life. The movie stars Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche.

Fly Me to the Moon: Apollo 11’s 50th Anniversary—Over the weekend of July 20-21, the programming is lunar-heavy, with two documentaries about the moon landing, For All Mankind (1989) and Apollo 11 (2019), as well as First Man (2018). The latter stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in a movie that the Guardian‘s Mark Kermode called “a moving tale of loss and peril.”

For more info, including screening times and tickets, visit thecinematheque.ca.

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