7 November 2005 | Freycinet
Disappointing due to paucity of material and non-existing editing
Out of the Present hardly qualifies as a documentary, much less a movie. Its main problem seems to be a severe paucity of raw material. This, however, has been exacerbated with rather inept editing.
Out of the Present touts itself as a movie about Sergei Krikalevs marathon MIR stay during the collapse of the USSR. We don't get a coherent narrative, though. The whole feature is nothing more than disjointed clips from space, Baikonur, Moscow and other places connected with the Soviet space program.
The main selling point of Out of the Present is certainly the clips from life on the MIR. These are unfortunately not as interesting as they could be. Half of them are of a dreadfully crummy TV quality, and the rest, filmed with 35 mm., are often out of focus. They are all short and shot without plan.
It would have been a saving grace of the sparse material if it had been enhanced by an interesting narrative. This is not the case though. There is no interview with Krikalev, no coherent story line. Just various clips, some of them completely useless and drawn out. A typical voice over will be just words like "is there still film in the camera? - yes. - OK." Sub-par computer graphics have been used to morph MIR into the space station from "A Space Odyssey" in a sequence that begs the question "why was it done?". Another sequence is devoted to the rioting in Moscow during the final days of the USSR, shown in amateur video with no narrative to support the images and create a context.
Out of the Present can unfortunately only be qualified as a non-movie. As such, it can only appeal to the most hard-core space buff, who already know much about the Soviet space program and just wants to see a few more images from MIR. This movie could have been much more than it is.