If not for the cutting and pacing of the film, it would be easy to imagine Walerian Borowczyk’s Les Astronautes had been made today–and not in 1959. The tinted collage cut-out style ages more gracefully than many other styles, and especially so when placed in the hands of a graphic master like Borowczyk.
Borowczyk was born in Poland, but made this film after emigrating to France. Noted French filmmaker Chris Marker (La Jetée) is credited as a collaborator on the film, but he wasn’t involved in its production. Marker added his name as a favor to Borowczyk, who did not have a French work permit at the time.
Your mileage may vary in regard to the film’s message. Les Astronautes tells the story of an inventor who builds a homemade spacecraft, and uses it to have various adventures, including peeping at women, visiting ‘human’ planets, and becoming involved in intergalatic warfare. There’s a bit of a twist ending, too.