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Watchlist: Curators' Picks for International Space Day

still from ET
1 May 2020

To mark International Space Day, we asked our cinema curators to pick their favourite space-themed films with incredible music scores.

It wasn’t an easy task given how many amazing sci-fi films there are out there – but they delivered, with a mix of brilliantly wacky and iconic choices...

 

Alex Davidson's sci fi / score pick: Fantastic Planet (1973), score by Alain Goraguer

Alain Goraguer created a suitably psychedelic jazz score for this wonderfully bizarre animation from 1973 – set on the planet of Ygam, where the enslaved humanoid Oms struggle against the oppression of the gigantic Draags. Simultaneously funky and otherworldly, the score has been used by hip-hop artists and is the perfect accompaniment to this unique film. Watch the trailer.

 

Tamara Anderson’s sci fi / score pick: Solaris (1972), score by Eduard Artemyev

Who can forget the solemn yet beautiful moment in Solaris when the camera pans over the details of a reproduction of Brueghel’s Hunters in the Snow hanging in the spaceship’s library, and Kris and Hari – sitting nearby, embracing – begin to float. Plus, Bach's chorale prelude for organ makes for a stunning soundtrack. Watch the trailer.

 

Sonia Zadurian's sci fi / score pick: Wall-E (2008), score by Thomas Newman

This sci-fi gem from Pixar is as beautiful in its exploration of galaxies unknown as its portrayal of a lonely robot who longs to be loved. Thomas Newman’s enchanting score does a huge amount of atmospheric and emotional heavy lifting, particularly during Wall-E’s solitary time on earth, though the standout sequence may just be Wall-E and love-interest Eve’s magical space dance. Watch the trailer.

 

Susie Evans' sci fi / score pick: ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), score by John Williams

Maestro John Williams knocked it out of the park with one of his most memorable scores in this classic Spielberg tear-jerker. The moment when Elliot and E.T. fly-cycle across the moon, accompanied by Williams’ lush orchestral score is one of those big screen heart-stoppers that has viewers catching their breath every time. Watch the trailer.

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