La Planète Sauvage

That’s “Fantastic Planet” to you and me

Big ups to Devin for bringing a new 35mm print of this deeply weird 1973 animated feature to Albuquerque as part of his commendable Alibi Midnight Movie series at The Guild. Tube-addicts who watched USA’s Night Flight series in the late 80s may recall seeing bits and pieces of this gloomy, grotesque and compelling science fiction parable (with awesome psych-rock/proto-disco soundtrack by Serge Gainsbourg collaborator Alain Goraguer), but it has been tricky to see ever since. VHS copies floated about for a while until a proper 1999 DVD release by Anchor Bay. Now it’s out of print again, which is one more reason to get thee on over to one of the two screenings this weekend: Friday and Saturday at 10:30 pm.

René Laloux directs, but it’s largely designer Roland Topor’s film. Drenched with classic Wellsian and Swiftian allegory, the film has emotional resonance as well as a unique visual style thanks not only to Topor’s vision, but also to the Czech animators who executed it. Easily one of the best science fiction films of all time.