Chauncey -Theater 1 Sat, Oct 19 1:20 PM
Series Info
Series:Refocus Film Festival
Film Info
Director:Yakov Protazanov
Featuring:Yuliya Solntseva
Nikolai Tsereteli
Runtime:62 minutes
Rating:Not Rated
Year Released:1924
Production Country:Soviet Union


Marc Ribot will perform a live score for Yakov Protazanov’s pioneering 1924 sci-fi film

Adapted from Alexei Tolstoy's 1923 novella, Aelita, this silent sci-fi epic follows Mstislav Sergeyevich Los, an engineer who hears a strange radio transmission and correctly identifies it as Martian in origin. Traveling to the Red Planet, he leads a popular uprising against the Elders with the help of Queen Aelita (Yuliya Solntsevaz), who also falls for the engineer after watching him through her telescope. Veteran director Protazanov injected humor, alongside the thrills and romance and even provided some documentary style footage of early 1920s Soviet life in a big budget attempt to create a state approved film that could serve as an international calling card for the Russian studio Mezhrabprom-Rus. With breathtaking costumes designed by the Cubo-Futurist artist Aleksandra Exter, incredibly lavish sets created by avant-garde Constructivist painters/production designers Isaac Rabinovich and Victor Simov, and a captivating performance from Yuliya Solntsevaz (who would go on to be the first woman to win the Palme d'Or), it's a wonder the film's popularity remained such a mystery for contemporary critics and relegated it to relative obscurity until fairly recently.

Marc Ribot is a multi-talented musician who has provided guitar for Tom Waits, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Laurie Anderson and many others. This live score event is presented with support from Hancher, and in collaboration with Iowa City Book Festival. Ribot’s multi-faceted guitar has been featured in acclaimed films including Down By Law (Jim Jarmusch), The Departed (Martin Scorcese), and Walk The Line (James Mangold). Ribot’s day in Iowa City will continue when he reads from his book Unstrung: Rants & Stories of a Noise Guitarist as part of the Iowa City Book Festival.

“Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985's Rain Dogs, and since then he's become the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of roots-music adventurers: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp.”Rolling Stone