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Space Is The Place (1974)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0

audience

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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 995

My Rating

Movie Info

Avant-garde jazz musician Sun Ra stars in the movie version of his concept album Space Is the Place. Not following a linear plot line, this experimental film is a bizarre combination of social commentary, blaxploitation, science fiction, and concert performance. The opening scene is set in an intergalactic forest, with Sun Ra introducing his plan to use music as salvation for the black community. Back on Earth, he wears a disguise as Sunny Ray, a piano player in a 1940s Chicago strip club who

Oct 28, 2003

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All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

It's standard blaxploitation settings and elements -- crime fighters and criminals, pimps and hookers, a pool hall and a brothel -- but the presence of the Outer Space Employment Agency makes it extraordinary.

April 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Space Is the Place has more than a few hokey moments, but it also illuminates Ra's work. For him, outer space wasn't just a gimmick or a convenient source of song titles. It was a zone where racism was inoperative.

July 7, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Its lighthearted surrealist high jinks, dressed up with SF trappings and black-power rhetoric, make for pleasant enough viewing, but the music seems strictly incidental.

July 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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There could have been more music, but this version of Space Is the Place is 20 minutes longer than the one issued in the early '90s on VHS and includes home movie footage of Sun Ra's 1972 Egyptian concert in the shadow of the pyramids.

November 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not that it's a bad film, but perhaps only true Sun Ra devotees, and those hoping to learn more about the artist would only really appreciate it.

July 7, 2005 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Space is the Place has the requisite style and sexuality of blaxploitation cinema, and spares the violence and generic title score.

October 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Audience Reviews for Space Is The Place

An interesting "black power", psychedelic, funky, space movie. I didn't know what to think of it.
January 1, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

A true underground classic. Witness: not-of-this-earth music, the funky righteousness of Ra, cinematic excellence and be prepared to alter your destiny. I'd heard good (and bad) things about this film, so my curiosity was peaked. Usually when very strong reactions are evoked of such diametric opposition, it can only mean one thing: Great Art. This movie is truly mind blowing. I can think of nowhere else, where one can obtain: Sci-Fi, Blaxplotation, Philosophy, Space Jazz, and dynamite costumes in one easy-to-swallow capsule. I highly recommend this to Sun Ra fans and those with an interest in fine Avant Garde films. Sun Ra is truly an enigma, and in excellent form in this movie. See him battle the devil across many dimensions and get ready for transmolecularization and isotope teleportation...
October 16, 2009
matertenebraum

Super Reviewer

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