A Voyage to Arcturus (1970)

Article 4750 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-5-2015
Directed by William Holloway
Featuring David Eldred, Leon Holster, Tom Hastings
Country: USA
What it is: Avant-garde science fiction

A man journeys to Arcturus and undergoes a transformative quest.

When a movie enters my hunt list which has no listing on IMDB, I usually despair of actually finding a copy, but this one practically fell into my lap. I’m thinking the reason it doesn’t have a listing is that it’s more of a student film than a professional production. It’s based on a novel from 1920 by David Lindsay. The novel appears to have a cult following, and C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are counted among its admirers. I’ve not read the novel in question, but it appears to have been an allegory of various philosophical systems. I suspect it’s the type of book that would have to be read slowly and carefully to be fully appreciated. I also suspect that it’s unfilmable; though there’s some very creative direction going on here, I emerged from the movie more confused than enlightened, and I wonder if the movie is best appreciated by those who have already read the book. It is extremely ambitious for a student film, and it even has a little stop-motion animation. And I will say one thing about the movie; it’s made me very curious about the novel itself.


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