Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Large Frame Format > East Germany > Eolomea



Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: C+



Following The Silent Star (1960, reviewed elsewhere on this site) and Signals Ė A Space Adventure (1970), the East German DEFA studios were happy enough with the latter being shot in DEFA 70mm to make a second 70mm Science Fiction film in a row.Hermann Zschocheís Eolomea (1972) is a short 80 minutes, but seems much longer, telling the story of a new planet that may or may not exist.To prove the possibility, scientists are willing to go out into space and risk their lives.Unfortunately, they spend far too much time talking and not enough doing.


For using such a large frame format as 65mm negative, you would think there would be more action than words, while what is said is more like melodrama than deep thought on science, technology and the future.We see some of the space station, ships and visual effects early on, but most of them occur in the latter half of the film, which are no match for Stanley Kubrickís 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and even two films with lower budgets released the same year as Eolomea:Andrei Tarkovskyís Solaris and Douglas Trumbullís Silent Running, both reviewed elsewhere on this site.


Though the visual effects show their age, reminding one of the TV series U.F.O. and Space: 1999 (also all reviewed on this site), we should give the visual effects team credit for being ambitious, even if the result is more obvious model work for the big screen like Michael Andersonís original 1976 Loganís Run.The difference between these productions and 2001, later made permanent by the first Star Wars and Alien films are the detail in the models.Set design is not the clean 2001 world or the messy Solaris world, but more of an upgrade of the 1950s/early 1960s idea of metal, metal everywhere.The worst part is a Robby The Robot on a very low budget, who will remind you of a toaster as much as anything.It is for those reasons more than story or limited character development Eolomea is worth seeing now.


As noted, the film was shot in the DEFA 70mm format and is here letterboxed in a 2.20 X 1 aspect ratio, though it is sadly not anamorphic like the case is suggesting.With that, the full detail and depth are not realized.Cinematographer Gunther Jaeuthe has his moments, but the film does not develop the distinguished look of other films in the genre.The film was developed in Agfa/ORWO stocks, but this copy does not show any kind of unusually bring colors, though they are consistent enough on the DVD.†† The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is fairly good, but has no surround information, while the original filmís release had a 6-track magnetic stereo soundtrack.Too bad those tracks were not used for a DTS and Dolby 5.1 remix, even though five of those tracks would be behind the screen.The combination is passable, but a digital High Definition version down the line will need work.


Extras include an essay about the use of music, bio/filmography info on director Zschoche, bio/filmography info on writer Angel Wagenstein and star Cox Habbemo, a stills gallery and a 20-minutes segment on clothes design and visual effects that even shows behind the scenes stills including a DEFA 70 Reflex camera.Filmmakers and film fans will want to see this just the same, even when the film falls short.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com