135 – Life (2017)

spacetime coordinates: 2017 International Space Station (ISS)  low Earth orbit

Life-illustrated-poster-600x900

Life is a 2017 American science fiction film (inspired by Alien  1979) directed by Daniel Espinosa, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds. The film follows a six-member crew of the International Space Station that uncovers what initially seems to be the first evidence of life on Mars.

Space policy experts positively noted the film’s warning about extraterrestrial contact. – http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3240/1

In March 2017, it was noted that stock footage of a crowd reacting to Spider-Man catching Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man 3s B-roll was used in Life.  This announcement led to theories that Life was secretly an origin story for the symbiote featured in Spider-Man 3, a theory made more popular by the announcement of a Venom film for 2018 the day after the story broke, and that Lifes screenwriters, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, had previously written a Venom script.

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Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light. And the red balloon. Goodnight nobody.   Goodnight_Moon

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133 – Capote (2005)

spacetime coordinates: 1959 > 1965  Kansas

Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote, following the events during the writing of Capote’s non-fiction book In Cold Blood. Philip Seymour Hoffman won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his critically acclaimed portrayal of the title character. The film was based on Gerald Clarke‘s biography Capote and was directed by Bennett Miller.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379725/

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“The viIIage of HoIcomb stands on the high wheat pIains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there.
UntiI one morning in mid-November, 1959 few Americans, in fact, few Kansans, had ever heard of Holcomb.
Like the waters of the Arkansas River, Iike the motorists on the highway, exceptionaI happenings never stopped there. Perry Smith’s voice
was both gentIe and prim. A voice that, though soft, manufactured each sound exactIy, ejected it Iike a smoke ring issuing from a parson’s mouth.
The four coffins, which quite fiIIed the smaII, flower-crowded parlor, were to be sealed at the funeral services, very understandabIy,
for the effect was disquieting. Nancy wore her dress of cherry-red veIvet, her brother a bright pIaid shirt. The parents were more sedateIy attired,
Mr. Clutter in navy-blue flannel, his wife in navy-bIue crepe. And it was this especiaIIy that lent the scene an awful aura,
the head of each was compIeteIy encased in cotton. A swollen cocoon twice the size of an ordinary bIown-up baIIoon.
And the cotton, because it had been sprayed with a gIossy substance, twinkled like Christmas tree snow.
One Tuesday at dawn, a carload of strangers, ignorant of the IocaI disaster, were startIed by what they saw as they crossed the prairies
and passed through HoIcomb. Windows ablaze.
AImost every window in aImost every house, and in the brightIy-Iit rooms, fuIIy-cIothed peopIe, even entire families, who had sat the whoIe night wide awake,
watchfuI, Iistening. Of what were they frightened? It might happen again.”

091 – In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

spacetime coordinates: 1892–1973 Chicago, Illinois, U.S. 

in_the_realms_of_the_unreal

In the Realms of the Unreal is a 2004 documentary film directed by Jessica Yu about American outsider artist Henry Darger.

An obscure janitor during his life, Darger is known for the posthumous discovery of his elaborate 15,145-page fantasy manuscript entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred watercolor paintings and other drawings illustrating the story.

The film’s style is atypical of a documentary. Because there are only three known photographs of Darger, and because of his reclusive lifestyle, the film is mostly a narrated biographical account, accompanied by animated versions of events from his magnum opus, which is also surveyed in detail. Interviews with his few neighbors and other acquaintances are included.

in-the-realms-of-the-unreal--the-mystery-of-henry-darger-poster

In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”

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077

“…Consider, again, the highly dichotomous film Avatar, which sets itself against the managerialism of modern man. The military forces that are the villains of the narrative are oriented towards a single object — unobtainium — and use instrumental reason and technology to achieve their desired end, regardless of the means, and regardless of the more complex and distributed forces that they will need to encounter to secure unobtainium. Pandora’s Navi’I, by contast, inhabit a world that is—in the words of the sympathetic character portrayed by Sigourney Weaver — structured like a “neural network.” The Navi’I communicate with the animals they ride and their surrounding fauna not by command, but by touch. The film is at once a post-humanist manifesto—targeting the man of technology and reason in favor of an affective, interconnected and communal whole — at the same time as it is an ultra-humanist reaction formation: the Navi’I are indeed avatars, images of a new ideal of humanity. What renders the Navi’I ultrahuman rather than inhuman is that they exemplify the values of responsive selfpresence that have always defined man against the mere inertia of things. This is not a haptocentric world, in which a privileged being is elevated due to its capacity for self-presence, while all else is left out of touch. Rather, everything is proximate to everything else, in one grand self-communicating whole.
When Bruno Latour opened his compositionist manifesto by referring to Avatar, and linked the film to the Gaia hypothesis, he reinforced a widespread thesis of mindfulness: the world is not inert matter blessed with the capacity to be represented and known by subjects. The world itself possesses living and self-organising properties. More importantly, the world as it is known follows from its capacity to affect, just as our being — our identity — emerges from the various ways in which we are affected. The world of Pandora in Avatar is a post-human (ultra-human) eco-utopia, not simply because it is composed of affective relations, in which bodies relate not by way of externally imposed systems (logic, language) but by affective communication and proximity, but also because it is like a neural network. There has been a reaction against the isolated and
distanced man of reason, who affects himself in order to be present to himself, along with a turn towards the neural paradigm. The brain, formerly and mistakenly perceived as a computer, is now — we are constantly reminded — not a central command centre, but a responsive, adaptive, distributed, dynamic, affective and embodied system. This new neural paradigm was articulated in the works of Maturana and Varela, who
tellingly also referred to Buddhism’s model of an ego-less consciousness that is nothing other than its relation to the world. The legitimated and science-based theories of the brain as less like a computer and more like a coupled and responsive system intersect with a wide range of fictional and non-fictional genres, such as Avatar but also popular science, mysticism and contemporary cultural production…”

from  hypo-hyper-hapto-neuro-mysticism by claire colebrook

071 – Wonderful Days (2003)

spacetime coordinates: AD 2142, Ecoban / Thera / The island of Gibraltar

Wonderful Days (also known as Sky Blue) is a South Korean animated science fiction film, released in 2003, written and directed by Kim Moon-saeng. The film deals with environmental destruction, pollution and class struggle.

wonderful-days

Wonderful Days is set in 2142. Environmental pollution has led to a breakdown of human civilisation. A technologically advanced city named Ecoban was built and it harvests energy from the DELOS System, which uses pollution in a carbonite catalysed reaction to generate power. Carbonite extraction is carried out by people who live outside the city in the surrounding wasteland.

“I know that I shall meet my fate / Somewhere among the clouds above; / Those that I fight I do not hate, / Those that I guard I do not love; / Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, / Nor public men, nor cheering crowds, / A lonely impulse of delight / Drove to this tumult in the clouds; / I balanced all, brought all to mind, / The years to come seemed waste of breath, / A waste of breath the years behind / In balance with this life, this death.” (W B Yeats from the DVD cover)

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069 – Total Eclipse (1995)

spacetime coordinates: 19th century  France – Brussels – Abyssinia

The only unbearable thing is that nothing is unbearable.

total eclipse

Total Eclipse is a 1995 film directed by Agnieszka Holland, based on a 1967 play by Christopher Hampton, who also wrote the screenplay. Based on letters and poems, it presents a historically accurate account of the passionate and violent relationship between the two 19th-century French poets Paul Verlaine (David Thewlis) and Arthur Rimbaud(Leonardo DiCaprio), at a time of soaring creativity for both of them.

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067 – The Rum Diary (2011)

spacetime coordinates: San Juan, Puerto Rico, the 1960s

the rum diary

The Rum Diary is a 2011 American film based on the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson. The film was written and directed by Bruce Robinson and stars Johnny Depp.

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Paul Kemp: [Kemp and Sala are wandering down a pier late at night, high on hallucinogens] I thought I was losing grip in there. What did we take?

Sala: I don’t know.

Paul Kemp: We need to get some more. [stops to stare at a tank full of lobsters]

Paul Kemp: [quietly] That explains it… doesn’t it?

Sala: Explains what?

Paul Kemp: The world… and us. [he stares deep into the eyes of one particular lobster]

Paul Kemp: [voiceover] I wonder what it is you might think about our different worlds. He looked at me kinda sideways and said, “Human beings are the only creatures on Earth who claim a God, and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn’t got one. Does the world belong to no one but you?” And when he said it, I was taken aback. Not because of who was doing the talking. Because I finally understood the connection between children scavenging for food, and shiny brass plates on the front doors of banks.

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