|Space Station 76|
|Directed by||Jack Plotnick|
|Edited by||Sharon Rutter|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (international rights)|
Space Station 76 is a 2014 American science fiction film, directed by Jack Plotnick, and co-written by Plotnick, Jennifer Elise Cox, Sam Pancake, Kali Rocha, and Michael Stoyanov.
It is the first film directed by Plotnick. He developed the script through improvisation sessions at his home with some of his favorite actors. The film was released in select theaters on September 19, 2014 then through Video-On-Demand beginning September 30, 2014.
Space Station 76 is a science fiction film that deconstructs seemingly idyllic relationships, set against the backdrop of Omega 76, a 1970s retro futuristic space station.
Jessica (Tyler) arrives to serve as the station's new co-pilot. While at first all seems normal and the crew friendly, she soon discovers that the people on board are struggling with issues such as infidelity, loneliness, depression, and drug abuse.
She becomes increasingly frustrated by Captain Glenn (Wilson), who harbors a secret of his own, namely his failed relationship with the previous co-pilot, Daniel. She is eventually drawn to Ted (Bomer), a lonely, married crewman, and his 7-year-old daughter, Sunshine (Rogers). Ted yearns to reconnect with his wife, Misty (Coughlan), but she's happier talking over her problems with Doctor Bot and having an affair with Steve (O'Connell). His daughter Sunshine contends with her unhappy, mentally ill mother and her pet gerbil eating its babies, one by one.
Events finally come to a head at a Christmas party, when Misty suggests they play the "Secrets Game". Jessica then exposes Glenn's homosexuality, just before Misty almost exposes Jessica's inability to have children. Just when it seems like everything's falling apart, an asteroid collides with the station, destroying the shuttle and leaving them all stranded.
As the crew slowly return to their lives, Sunshine turns off the gravity, and floats whilst viewing a meteor shower through the window.
The film was a passion project for writer director Jack Plotnick who described making the film as "like climbing your own personal Mount Everest". With the film Plotnick wanted to tell the story of his own upbringing but do "it in a sort of an artistic way by setting it in the future as we had imagined it would be in the 70s". Plotnick chose the setting of a remote space station as he felt it was a good metaphor for the suburbs, while the retro future aesthetic represented the "perfect future we dreamed of but that never came to be".
Liv Tyler came aboard after participating in a Skype call with Plotnick which according to her "was half Skype session with a director and half therapy session for me". Tyler was also intrigued by Plotnick's work as an acting teacher and his personal philosophy regarding the craft.
The interior design of the space station bears an astonishing similarity to Keith Wilson's iconic designs for the interiors of Moonbase Alpha from Gerry Anderson's 1970s' hit series Space 1999, whilst there are many other visual references to classic 1970s films such as Silent Running and Star Wars.
The film's soundtrack includes numerous 1960s and 1970s songs, including four by Todd Rundgren, stepfather of Liv Tyler: "International Feel", "I Saw The Light", "Hello It's Me", and "Utopia Theme".
Space Station 76 premiered on March 8, 2014, at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. before being given a limited release on September 19, 2014. The film was released via VOD and DVD on September 30, 2014.
The first trailer was released on July 21, 2014.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 68% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. On Metacritic the film has a score of 49% based on 10 reviews.
Joe Leydon of Variety magazine wrote: "Aiming more for bemused chuckles than for convulsive laughter, Plotnick and his actors deftly evoke a faux Me Decade ambiance throughout Space Station 76."