timespace coordinates: 1990’s New Hampshire
“reality isn’t what it used to be…”
In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 American horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca. It stars Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner and Charlton Heston. Informally, the film is the third installment in Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy, preceded by The Thing and Prince of Darkness.
The film pays tribute to the work of seminal horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, with many references to his stories and themes. Its title is a play on Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, and insanity plays as great a role in the film as it does in Lovecraft’s fiction. The opening scene depicts Trent’s confinement to an asylum, with the bulk of the story told in flashback, a common technique of Lovecraft. Reference is made to Lovecraftian settings and details (such as a character that shares the name of Lovecraft’s Pickman family). Sutter Cane’s novels have similar titles to H.P. Lovecraft stories : The Whisperer of the Dark (The Whisperer in Darkness), The Thing in the Basement (The Thing on the Doorstep), Haunter out of Time (The Haunter of the Dark/The Shadow Out of Time), and The Hobbs End Horror (The Dunwich Horror), the latter also referencing Hobbs End underground station from Nigel Kneale‘s Quatermass and the Pit.
In the Tall Grass is a 2019 Canadian supernatural horror drama film written and directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube) and starring Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Will Buie Jr., Harrison Gilbertson and Patrick Wilson. It is based on Stephen King and Joe Hill‘s 2012 novella of the same name.The film had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 20, 2019. It was later released on October 4, 2019, by Netflix. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1999, turn of the century (near-future) Los Angeles (racial war zone / New Year’s Eve party)
Strange Days is a 1995 American science fiction thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by James Cameron and Jay Cocks, and produced by Cameron and Steven-Charles Jaffe. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, and Tom Sizemore. Set in the last two days of 1999, the film follows the story of a black marketeer of SQUID discs, recordings that allow a user to experience the recorder’s memories and physical sensations, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the murder of a prostitute.
Blending science fiction with film noir conventions, Strange Days explores themes such as racism, abuse of power, rape, and voyeurism. Although the story was conceived by Cameron around 1986, Bigelow found inspiration after incidents such as the Lorena Bobbitt trial and the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict.
Strange Days was a commercial failure and almost derailed Bigelow’s career (…) Nevertheless, the film’s critical standing has improved over the years, with many fans feeling that the film has been overlooked by a casual mass audience and misguided critics.
The scene where the crowd celebrates the turn of the new century at the end of the film was shot at the corner of the 5th and Flower streets, between the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Los Angeles Public Library. Over 50 off-duty police officers were hired to control an assembled crowd of 10,000 people, who had to pay $10 in advance to attend the event. The film-makers also hired rave promoters Moss Jacobs and Philip Blaine to produce performances featuring Aphex Twin, Deee-Lite, as well as “all the cyber-techno bands they could garner”.
In 2015, The Washington Post editor Sonny Bunch felt that Strange Days was still relevant, comparing the imagery captured by the SQUID units to that of first-person shooters or cellphone videos on YouTube. He added that events such as Jeriko One’s murder and the subsequent coverup of the crime contribute to activist movements like Black Lives Matter, and that their media documentation amplifies their reception and consequences. (read more: Themes)
timespace coordinates: American financial crisis and presidential election campaign, the fall of 2008Killing Them Softly is a 2012 American neo-noir crime film directed by Andrew Dominik and starring Brad Pitt, based on George V. Higgins‘ novel Cogan’s Trade (1974). The film is about three small-time crooks who rob a Mob-protected illegal gambling operation, which prompts the Mob to send in two hitmen, Jackie (Pitt) and Mickey (James Gandolfini), to deal with the perpetrators. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: Mid-1800s Latvia > 1890s – 1900s – 1990s (juvenile detention) Camp Green Lake, Texas Holes is a 2003 American adventure comedy-drama film directed by Andrew Davis, and based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Louis Sachar. Sachar also penned the screenplay for the film. The film stars Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson and Shia LaBeouf. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2010’s “warped Alabama backwoods narrative”
Y’all wanna get weird?
The Death of Dick Long is a 2019 twisted awkward black comedy–drama film directed and produced by Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man) and written by Billy Chew. The film stars Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia Newcomb, Andre Hyland, Sarah Baker, Jess Weixler, Roy Wood Jr., and Sunita Mani.