Last year, the astrophysicist Adam Frank implored an audience at Google that we see climate change – and the newly baptised geological age of the Anthropocene – against this cosmological backdrop. The Anthropocene refers to the effects of humanity’s energy-intensive activities upon Earth. Could it be that we do not see evidence of space-faring galactic civilisations because, due to resource exhaustion and subsequent climate collapse, none of them ever get that far? If so, why should we be any different?
A few months after Frank’s talk, in October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s update on global warming caused a stir. It predicted a sombre future if we do not decarbonise. And in May, amid Extinction Rebellion’s protests, a new climate report upped the ante, warning: “Human life on earth may be on the way to extinction.”
… apocalyptic prophecies are designed to reveal the ultimate moral meaning of things. It’s in the name: apocalypse means revelation. Extinction, by direct contrast, reveals precisely nothing and this is because it instead predicts the end of meaning and morality itself – if there are no humans, there is nothing humanly meaningful left.
timespace coordinates: 1930’s – 1950’s France > Belleville (an amalgam of New York City, Montreal and Quebec City
The Triplets of Belleville (French: Les Triplettes de Belleville) is a 2003 animated comedy film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. The film is Chomet’s first feature film and was a France | Belgium | Canada | UK | Latvia | USA co-production.
There is little dialogue; much of the narrative is conveyed through song and pantomime. It tells the story of Madame Souza, an elderly woman who goes on a quest to rescue her grandson Champion, a Tour de France cyclist, who has been kidnapped by the French mafia for gambling purposes and taken to the city of Belleville. She is accompanied by Champion’s loyal but obese hound, Bruno, and joined by the Triplets of Belleville, music hall singers from the 1930s, whom she meets in the city.
The film was highly praised by audiences and critics for its unique style of animation. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards—Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Belleville Rendez-vous”. It was also screened out of competition (hors concours) at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. (wiki)
imdb / Art of the Triplets of Belleville / The Triplets of Belleville / Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003) – Background Layouts
timespace coordinates: focus on the rave scene in post-communist Eastern Europe
“Polish animator Tomek Popakul’s riveting Acid Rain has been one of the darlings of the festival circuit this year. The mo-cap/2D animated short, which centers on a young runaway from an Eastern European village who falls in with a bad crowd, has been praised for its edgy visuals, memorable electronic music and highly original point of view.” (read more – animationmagazine)
timespace coordinates: Victorian era Gotham City
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is a 2018 American animated steampunk superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, featuring an alternate version of the DC Comics character Batman. It is the thirtieth film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. It is directed and produced by Sam Liu and written by James Krieg, loosely based on the one-shot graphic novel of the same name by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola. (wiki)
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, originally published in 1989, is considered to be DC Comics’ first Elseworlds story. “In ELSEWORLDS, heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places–some that have existed, and others that can’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t exist.” – DC editorial copy.
Influences / imdb
Batman & Bill is an American documentary film that premiered on Hulu on May 6, 2017. Directed, written and produced by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce, explores the creation of the Batman, how Bob Kane was accepted as the sole creator, and how Bill Finger was never credited for his work despite creating the Batman mythos. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2000’s Józsefváros – Budapest, Hungary
The District! (Hungarian: Nyócker!) is a 2004 Hungarian caricaturistic animated film directed by Áron Gauder. Its original title is a shortened colloquial form of nyolcadik kerület, the eighth district of Budapest, also known as Józsefváros, including an infamous neighbourhood where the film takes place. It is sometimes labelled as the Hungarian South Park.
The animated technique for this movie was rather innovative. The artists took 350 headshot pictures of each actor and used these photos for the expressing emotions and the animation of the heads. The bodies were hand drawn.
The film displays the Hungarian, Roma, Chinese and Arab dwellers and their alliances and conflicts in a humorous way, embedded into a fictive story of a few schoolchildren’s oil-making time-travel and a Romeo and Juliet-type love of a Roma guy towards a white girl. (wiki)