Ikarie XB.1



Ikarie XB-1 is an ambitious science fiction space opera, possibly best known for prefiguring many visual and thematic motifs of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. This ‘Space Marienbad’, as one critic called it, perfectly epitomises an era defined by a raging space race and cultural competition between the East and the West. The film portrays an idealised communist civilisation circa 2163, as it embarks on a voyage beyond our solar system. Its real protagonist is a monumental discovery spaceship Ikarie, a self-contained world in miniature designed to impress an international audience with its vision of a highly advanced lifestyle, as imagined by a small socialist country. Like the rest of the film, its 22nd century costumes are steeped in the ideology of utopianism, something that is especially driven home when ‘ancient people’ of the 20th century are discovered on a derelict ship deep in space.

Czechoslovakia 1963. Dir. Jindřich Polák. With Zdeněk Štěpánek, František Smolík, Dana Medřická. Set design Jan Zázvorka. Costumes Ester Krumbachová, Jan Skalický and Vladimír Synek.