Sunday, December 14, 2003

Sun Ra - Space is the Place DVD (Prexifilm 1972, 2003)

Oh man, this is a hoot. Whether it is supposed to be or not is another matter. Imagine Shaft starring Sun Ra and you have some idea what is going one here. Basically, the "plot" of the story is that Sun Ra lands his spaceship in Oakland in 1972 in order to save the black race from oppression and self destruction. While there is some pretty deft social commentary going on here, it's hidden by a story so campy that it's possible to miss it.

It's Savior Sun Ra versus the FBI, NASA and the super-galactic pimp "The Overseer" in a battle for the "hearts and minds" of the world. Needless to say, that world is destroyed in classic B movie sci fi style at the end but not before Sun Ra is able to spirit away some pilgrims.

Besides the camp and sheer fun of the film, there are some wonderful shots of the Arkestra in action. The band was a well-oiled machine at this point, featuring Ra's compositions and arrangements and June Tyson's ethereal vocals.

No home is complete without one...

Rating: 10

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