Directed by: Jim Finn
Starring: Dean DeMatteis, Jim Finn, Nandini Khaund, Goran Milos, Ruediger van den Boom
Viewers in search of the extremely different would be well advised to check out the Media Arts Project’s screening of Jim Finn’s Interkosmos. I’m giving the film a somewhat non-committal three-star rating because, quite frankly, I don’t know how to criticize it. I just watched Interkosmos, and I don’t have the first clue what the point of it all was. Yes, I was able to tell that it purports to be a documentary—with songs (sort of)—about a failed 1970s East German space colonization mission. It does manage to convey that much. Beyond that, it’s alternately amusingly playful, unbearably tedious and almost always incomprehensible. I found some amusement in what appears to be someone’s old home movies of a trip to Marineland, where we get to see a dog on water skis while a voice on the soundtrack prattles on about the fate of the bourgeoisie. I haven’t a clue what it meant, but it was entertaining.
Then again, there was a lengthy conversation between ground control and the spaceship, which mostly consisted of ground control insisting that a woman on board had to know “The Trolley Song,” even though she kept saying she didn’t. Naturally, the ground controller tries singing it to her (in German), and she still doesn’t know it (not a Judy Garland fan, I guess), but she denounces it as a capitalistic love song. On my honor, after this I will never complain about the inane dialogue in Kubrick’s 2001 (1968) again—never ever. Oh yes, there’s also a brief animated section about a cosmonaut pig. It looks like a stuffed bunny, but they say it’s a pig and I’m not arguing the point. I have to admit that Interkosmos just isn’t my sort of thing, but it’s so relentlessly ... whatever it is, that I won’t say it’s bad (however much I might suspect it). Others may find it edgy, adventurous stuff, and I can’t say they’d be wrong. I simply don’t see it.
— reviewed by Ken Hanke