Still Watching the Skies: Episode 35 “Space is the Place”
This month, Nat, Cody, and Robert journey back to the 1970s to take in Sun Ra and his Arkestra in 1974’s SPACE IS THE PLACE. SPACE IS THE PLACE is ground zero for Afrofuturism, as defined by Mark Dery in a terrific essay which you can read here, and which we talk about at some length.
SPACE IS THE PLACE finds the musician Sun Ra engaged in a cosmic contest for the Black Man’s body and soul against the satanic Overseer who seems to revel in the contemporary condition. It displays its politics on its sleeve, including the possibility of space as being a place for Black Men to be free of white oppression, and is certainly a product of its time. In more ways that one, considering the production values. But, between the visuals and music, it clearly establishes an interesting and unique identity. We discuss the film at length and also talk about films that would fall under the Afrofuturism title, some that don’t but could such as THE MATRIX, the music, and why it’s an interesting idea to explore on film.
If that’s not enough, we open the mailbag and discuss the New York Times’s recent list of the 25 best movies of the 21st Century including some of our own entries. Needless to say we have our own opinions about what is right and wrong about the New York Times’s list and what trends in cinema the list didn’t give enough attention to.
Hopefully this episode will transport you through the power of music to a new way of looking at things. Give us a play below or Download the episode. Also, feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below or Email Us at [email protected] as we appreciate feedback.
Next month, we discuss the one and only ZARDOZ from 1974. Will the podcast survive? We hope you’ll join us to find out.