The year is 2163 and the spaceship Ikarie XB 1 embarks on a trip to the star system Alpha Centauri to search for life on a “White Planet”. The 40-person crew under Commanders Abajev and MacDonald includes a pregnant officer and a somewhat geriatric robot. Along the way, they find a derelict spaceship, whose crew died a violent death some 200 years ago. That encounter ends in death for two of the Ikarie’s space travellers. Shortly thereafter, the rest of the crew is afflicted with an odd sleeping sickness, apparently caused by a dark star between the ship and the White Planet … The electronic music in this film version of a Stanisław Lem story seems avant-garde, even today. Ikarie XB 1 took off in the West as well. That was less due to the mangled re-edit that was released in the US than to the fact that Stanley Kubrick – according to his assistant Anthony Frewin – watched the film while preparing for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The two films show clear similarities, not only in the atmospheric lighting, but also in several details of the sets, such as the hexagonal corridors.
88 min · Black/White · 4K DCP
Digitally restored version 2016
Zdeněk ŠtěpánekFrantišek SmolíkDana MedřickáIrena KačírkovRadovan LukavskýOtto LackovičMiroslav Macháček
Filmové Studio BarrandovCzechoslovakia
DCP: Národní filmový archiv, Prag