Aelita, Queen of Mars

Jakov Protazanov, 1924; 120 min.
Aelita, Queen of Mars
The world's first feature film to use interplanetary travel as its main plot line, Aelita is based on A. N. Tolstoi's still-popular novel. A brilliant engineer and a crusty soldier travel to the Red Planet to find it inhabited by meek humanoids and ruled with an iron fist by the beautiful Aelita. Spectacular unrest ensues; will our heroes make it back home? Free of earthly logistics, the film's unique set design captures Soviet Constructivism at its graphically most unhinged.

by Kent Jones