timespace coordinates: 18th century Europe / America
An Entertainment for Angels, rather than for Men, one observer called electricity, and it proved to be the most significant scientific discovery of the Enlightenment. Lecturers attracted huge audiences who marveled at sparkling fountains, flaming drinks, pirouetting dancers, and electrified boys. Flamboyant experimenters made chains of soldiers leap into the air, while wealthy women titillated their admirers with a sensational electric kiss. Optimists predicted that this strange power of nature would cure illnesses, improve crop production, even bring the dead back to life. An Entertainment for Angels tells the story of how electricity charged the eighteenth-century imagination. With contemporary illustrations and engaging prose, Patricia Fara vividly portrays the struggles to understand the unusual and exciting effects that electrical experiments were producing. (goodreads)
timespace coordinates: 1710s – 2012 small town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts
ParaNorman is a 2012 American stop-motion animated dark fantasy comedy horror film, produced by Laika and distributed by Focus Features. Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, from a screenplay by Butler, it stars the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Jodelle Ferland, Tempestt Bledsoe, Alex Borstein and John Goodman.
It is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces, and only the second to be shot in 3D. In the film, Norman, a young boy who can communicate with ghosts, is given the task of ending a 300 year-old witch’s curse on his Massachusetts town, despite being grounded by his father. (wiki)
Homer used two adjectives to describe aspects of the colour blue: kuaneos, to denote a dark shade of blue merging into black; and glaukos, to describe a sort of ‘blue-grey’, notably used in Athena’s epithet glaukopis, her ‘grey-gleaming eyes’. He describes the sky as big, starry, or of iron or bronze (because of its solid fixity). The tints of a rough sea range from ‘whitish’ (polios) and ‘blue-grey’ (glaukos) to deep blue and almost black (kuaneos, melas). The sea in its calm expanse is said to be ‘pansy-like’ (ioeides), ‘wine-like’ (oinops), or purple (porphureos). But whether sea or sky, it is never just ‘blue’. In fact, within the entirety of Ancient Greek literature you cannot find a single pure blue sea or sky.
Yellow, too, seems strangely absent from the Greek lexicon. The simple word xanthos covers the most various shades of yellow, from the shining blond hair of the gods, to amber, to the reddish blaze of fire. Chloros, since it’s related to chloe (grass), suggests the colour green but can also itself convey a vivid yellow, like honey.
The Ancient Greek experience of colour does not seem to match our own. In a well-known aphorism, Friedrich Nietzsche captures the strangeness of the Greek colour vocabulary:
How differently the Greeks must have viewed their natural world, since their eyes were blind to blue and green, and they would see instead of the former a deeper brown, and yellow instead of the latter (and for instance they also would use the same word for the colour of dark hair, that of the corn-flower, and that of the southern sea; and again, they would employ exactly the same word for the colour of the greenest plants and of the human skin, of honey and of the yellow resins: so that their greatest painters reproduced the world they lived in only in black, white, red, and yellow).
How is this possible? Did the Greeks really see the colours of the world differently from the way we do? read more:
timespace coordinates: 18th century France (1730s – 1760s)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 2006 German period psychological crime thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, and Dustin Hoffman. Tykwer, with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil, also composed the music. The screenplay by Tykwer, Andrew Birkin, and Bernd Eichinger is based on Patrick Süskind‘s 1985 novel Perfume. Set in 18th century France, the film tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Whishaw), an olfactory genius, and his homicidal quest for the perfect scent. (wiki)
During pre-production, Tom Tykwer, Director of Photography Frank Griebe, Production Designer Uli Hanisch, and Costume Designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud studied the complete works of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Joseph Wright, in order to ensure the film’s aesthetic correctly captured eighteenth century France.
timespace coordinates: early 18th century EnglandThe Favourite is a 2018 black comedy period film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. It is a co-production by producers in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Set in the early 18th century, the story examines the relationship between two cousins vying to be court favourites of Queen Anne. It stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, James Smith, and Mark Gatiss.
In his review of the film, Anthony Lane comments on its anachronisms: “For Lanthimos and his screenwriters, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, all historical reconstruction is a game, and to pretend otherwise—to nourish the illusion that we can know another epoch as intimately as we do our own—is merest folly.” (read more: Historical accuracy)