Fantastic Planet (or La Planète sauvage, for the purists) is a well-known French film that you should have watched in high school during your hippie phase. It was canon during those desperate intellectual years when you'd experiment with psychotropic drugs, read Beat books, and watch foreign flicks for the sake of being able to name-drop them along with other entry-level favorites like 8 1/2 and Amélie.
Now, if this doesn't sound like you and you completely missed this phase, I don't know what to tell you. But you're not completely out of luck. This weekend, Nitehawk Cinemas is teaming up with Absolut to bring you the animated space flick in all its grainy, whimsical glory.
Here's what John Woods, the director of programming at Nitehawk, had to say:
Rare is the animated science fiction film that manages live up to the poster. René Laloux and Roland Topor’s 1973 atmospheric masterpiece, Fantastic Planet (La Planéte sauvage), effortlessly shifts between cut-out animation surrealism and Twilight Zone–like situations with a subjugated human race known in this world as Ohms.
Many of humankind’s greatest failings are embodied by the ruling alien race of Traggs, who view the Ohms as disposable house pets at best and frequently exterminate them in large numbers with great contempt.
So begins the hero’s journey of the Ohm Terr. Orphaned as an infant, he’s adopted and treated as a favorite pet by Tiva, the young daughter of a Tragg dignitary.
Growing up among the Traggs and being present during Tiva’s learning sessions, Terr eventually escapes into the outside world where he discovers a tribe of feral Ohms, whose respect he must earn before they accept him into their ranks and value the knowledge he shares that will ultimately free them.
Social commentary aside, Fantastic Planet places the viewer into a unique and beautifully realized world accented by jarring scenes of violence and brutal indifference where futuristic technology and primal existence are side by side.
Winning the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973 and released in the US by New World Pictures, it was a 1980s TV fixture on USA Network's legendary Night Flight program, which planted the seeds for the cult status the film developed.
It’s nearly impossible to imagine the film without Alain Goraguer’s perfect soundtrack. Highly sought-after on vinyl by DJs, it’s also been frequently sampled by hip-hop producers. Experience Morricone Youth bringing it to you live.
So there you have it. This could be you:
Nitehawk's Live Sound Cinema
February 25th and 26th
136 Metropolitan Ave.