Under the helm of jazz musician Marshall Allen since the early Nineties when Sun Ra died, the Sun Ra Arkestra are going as strong as ever. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Sun Ra’s cult film, Space Is The Place, an Afrofuturist science fiction film made in 1972 and released in 1974.
A special edition CD, DVD, and book is out celebrating the 40th anniversary of Space Is The Place. It’s an incredible package; the DVD includes restored versions of both the original cut and the uncut version with remixed sound, commentary from producer Jim Newman, and home movies from Sun Ra & the Arkestra. The book includes essays from screenplay writer Seth Hill and director John Coney, a forward by Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, an interview with Ray Johnson (who played the Overseer in the film), commentary, and dozens of never-seen-before photos, taken on and off set during the filming of the movie. It also includes a soundtrack with two additional tracks added that were not on the soundtrack release, but are featured in the film.
WXPN’s Bob Bumbera talked with David Katznelson, of Birdman Records, and co-producer of the anniversary edition of Space Is The Place, about the project. Katznelson, an avid fan and expert on Sun Ra, tells Bumbera that with the 100th anniversary of Sun Ra’s birth, the 20th anniversary of his death, and the 40th anniversary of the film, “those numbers felt very “Sun Ra-ish” to me,” and he embarked on pulling the project together.
Listen to the interview with Bumbera and Katznelson below, and watch an excerpt from the movie. You can purchase the 40 Anniversary Special Edition of Space Is The Place here.
The Sun Ra Arkestra are playing on Thursday, May 21st at Ardmore Music Hall.
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