A delightfully tongue-in-cheek homage to a fictional East German space project, Jim Finn's "Interkosmos" uses recreated newsreels combined with musical interludes to resurrect the '70s in all its Brezhnev-era glory. Adventurous fest auds will best appreciate this genuine crowd-pleaser.

A delightfully tongue-in-cheek homage to a fictional East German space project, Jim Finn’s “Interkosmos” uses recreated newsreels combined with musical interludes to resurrect the ’70s in all its Brezhnev-era glory. Similar in its mockumentary approach to “First People on the Moon” but with a broader sense of wry fun, pic uncannily captures the self-glorifying hyperbole and straight-faced seriousness of the Communist bloc’s attempts to make a splash in the race to space. Adventurous fest auds will best appreciate this genuine crowd-pleaser.

More a series of similarly-themed sketches than a cohesively flowing unit, pic imagines East Germany leading the way in efforts to colonize the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Participating in the grand scheme for the betterment of an anti-capitalist world are cosmonauts Seagull (Nandini Khaund) and Falcon (helmer Finn), whose hesitant space romance, over intergalactic static, forms the core — a deadpan recitation of “The Trolley Song” is priceless. Color footage is suitably tinged orange-pink with age, and music and art direction are impeccable; as a final tease, exit music is longer than in “Gone With the Wind.”

Interkosmos

Production

Produced, directed, written, edited by Jim Finn.

Crew

Camera (color, super 8- and 16-mm-to-video), Butcher Walsh, Dean DeMatteis; music, Jim Becker, Colleen Burke; art director, Joe Bristol; costume designers, Cecilia Rubalcava, Dana Carter, Shane Gabier; animation, Nicole Emmons. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Sturm & Drang), Jan. 28, 2006. German, English dialogue. Running time: 71 MIN.

With

Nandini Khaund, Jim Finn, Dean DeMatteis, Goran Milos, Ruediger van den Boom, Bettina Richards, Annika Bruens.
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