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4.0
1,748 Ratings

Outer Space

Directed by Peter Tscherkassky
Austria, 1999
Animation, Avant-Garde, Short
  • None, Silent
  • No subtitles

Synopsis

A woman, terrorised by an invisible force, enters a house at night. The rasping of crickets and a distorted music give way to explosions, screams and garbled voices. In an eruption of panicked subjectivity, her face multiplies across the screen while flashes of solarised imagery invade the frame…

Our take

A key film from the Austrian avant-garde, Outer Space re-appropriates footage from Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity into a maelstrom of images—a destruction of narrative norms, and an outright violation of traditional cinematic space.

Outer Space Directed by Peter Tscherkassky
Apparition-like double exposures are soon replaced by overwhelming pile-ups of screeching static noise, as Tscherkassky creates a cinematic space that doesn’t just attack Hershey but mentally and physically consumes her. At first, the house she’s trapped inside seems to flicker into being, as though its visibility depends on the frequency to which your perception is tuned, much like Twin Peaks’s more fantastical realms.
August 29, 2017
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Outer Space is my favorite horror movie of all time. It’s only 10 minutes long, but I think those ten minutes capture the essence of what movie horror is all about… Director Peter Tscherkassky took a celluloid print of [The Entity] and ran it through an untold number of experimental effects, creating something that’s 1,000 times more powerful and scary than the original.
August 01, 2012
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…What is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the film is Tscherkassky’s implemented strategy for reflecting the unnamed heroine’s ambiguously real or imagined assault through the sensorially unrelenting stimuli created by an extended sequence of hyperkinetic flashes of intense light that seemingly explode and burn out before dissolving into unidentifiable abstraction, leaving in its wake the residual, irreconcilable fragments of a complete psychological rupture of the image and the self.
February 13, 2001
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