Extinction is a 2018 American science fiction thriller film directed by Ben Young and written by Spenser Cohen, Eric Heisserer and Brad Kane. The film is about a father who has a recurring dream about the loss of his family while witnessing a force bent on destruction. The film stars Lizzy Caplan, Michael Peña, Mike Colter, Lilly Aspell, Emma Booth, Israel Broussard, and Lex Shrapnel. It was released on Netflix on July 27, 2018. (wiki)
Early Man is a 2018 British stop-motion animated historical sports comedy film directed by Nick Park, written by Mark Burton and James Higginson, and starring the voices of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, and Timothy Spall. The film follows a tribe of primitive Stone Age valley dwellers who have to defend their land from bronze-using invaders in an association football match.
timespace coordinates: 2018 Chicago >> Seattle
How It Ends is a Canadian-American action disaster thriller film directed by David M. Rosenthal and written by Brooks McLaren. The film stars Theo James, Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham, and Mark O’Brien. The film was released on July 13, 2018 by Netflix.
The Happening is a 2008 psychological horror-thriller film written, co-produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo and Betty Buckley. The film follows a man, his wife, his best friend and his friend’s daughter as they try to escape from an inexplicable natural disaster.
Shyamalan told the New York Daily News: “We’re making an excellent B movie, that’s our goal”. Some critics enjoyed it because of this. Glenn Whipp said, “Tamping down the self-seriousness in favor of some horrific silliness, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening plays as a genuinely enjoyable B-movie for anyone inclined (or able) to see it that way”.
Joseph J. Foy, professor of politics and popular culture, describes Shyamalan’s film as an expression of “post-environmentalism” in which traditional paradigmatic politics are replaced with a call for the world to “embrace a revolutionary reevaluation of wealth and prosperity not in terms of monetary net worth or material possessions, but in terms of overall well-being”. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: 2020 – 2021 upstate New York
Speaking of the political and social commentary the film encouraged, director Krasinski said, “The best compliment you can get on any movie is that it starts a conversation. The fact that people are leaving and talking about anything is really fun—but certainly about deep stuff like that, is awesome.” Krasinski, who did not grow up with horror films, said that prior films of the genre such as Don’t Breathe (2016) and Get Out (2017) that had societal commentary were part of his research. In addition to considering his film a metaphor for parenthood, he compared the premise to US politics in 2018, “I think in our political situation, that’s what’s going on now: You can close your eyes and stick your head in the sand, or you can try to participate in whatever’s going on.” He cited Jaws (1975) as an influence, with how the protagonist police officer moved from New York to an island to avoid frightening situations, and was forced to encounter one in his new location with shark attacks.
Matthew Monagle of Film School Rejects said A Quiet Place seemed to be “the early frontrunner for the sparsely intellectual horror movie of the year”, like previous films The Babadook (2014) and The Witch (2015). Monagle said Krasinski, who had directed two previous films, was “making an unusual pivot into a genre typically reserved for newcomers”, and considered it to be part of a movement toward horror films layered “in storytelling, [with] character beats not typically found in a horror movie”. Tatiana Tenreyro, writing for Bustle, said while A Quiet Place was not a silent film, “It is the first of its kind within the modern horror genre for how little spoken dialogue it actually has.” She said the rare moments of spoken dialogue “give depth to this horror movie, showing how the narrative defies the genre’s traditional films even further”.
Bishop Robert Barron was surprised by strikingly religious themes in the film. He likened the family’s primitive, agrarian life of silence to monasticism, and commends their self-giving love. Barron noted the pervasive pro-life themes, especially in the choices of the parents, as Mrs. Abbott risks everything to give birth to a child, and her husband lays down his own life so that the children can live: what Barron sees as the ultimate expression of parental love. Sonny Bunch of the Washington Post also commented and expanded on a pro-life message.
Krasinski, who had recently become a new father, said in a conference interview “I was already in a state of terror about whether or not I was a good enough father,” and added that the meaning of parenthood had been elevated for him by imagining being a father in a nightmare world, struggling to simply keep his children alive. Jonathan Hetterly, writing in Shrinktank, saw the film’s whole premise as a commentary on modern American paranoid parenting, saying that Krasinski “viewed the premise as a metaphor for a parent’s worst fears”.
Krasinski himself has told CBS News “The scares were secondary to how powerful this could be as an allegory or metaphor for parenthood. For me, this is all about parenthood.” (wiki)
The Falling Sky is a remarkable first-person account of the life story and cosmo-ecological thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon. Representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy, Davi Kopenawa paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest–a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry.In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road workers, cattle ranchers, and gold prospectors. He vividly describes the ensuing cultural repression, environmental devastation, and deaths resulting from epidemics and violence. To counter these threats, Davi Kopenawa became a global ambassador for his endangered people. The Falling Sky follows him from his native village in the Northern Amazon to Brazilian cities and finally on transatlantic flights bound for European and American capitals. These travels constitute a shamanic critique of Western industrial society, whose endless material greed, mass violence, and ecological blindness contrast sharply with Yanomami cultural values.
Bruce Albert, a close friend since the 1970s, superbly captures Kopenawa’s intense, poetic voice. This collaborative work provides a unique reading experience that is at the same time a coming-of-age story, a historical account, and a shamanic philosophy, but most of all an impassioned plea to respect native rights and preserve the Amazon rainforest. (amazon)
“When I come back from a trip among the white people, the dizziness leaves my eyes after a while and my thought be-comes clear again. I no longer hear cars, machines, or airplanes. I only lend an ear to the tooro toads and krouma frogs that call the rain in the forest. I only hear the rustling of the leaves in the wind and the rumbling of the thunders in the sky. The ignorant words of the city politicians gradually vanish in the quiet of my sleep. I become calm again by going to hunt and making my spirits dance.
The forest is very beautiful to see. It is cool and aromatic. When you move through it to hunt or travel, you feel joyful and your mind is slow-paced. You listen to the chirping of the cicadas in the distance, or the cries of the curassows and the agami herons, and the clamor of the spider monkeys in the trees. Your worries are eased. Your thoughts can then follow one another without getting obscured.”
spacetime coordinates: 2035 Shanghai Tokyo Los Angeles Sydney / SiberiaPacific Rim Uprising is a 2018 American science fiction film directed by Steven S. DeKnight (in his feature-film directorial debut), with a screenplay by DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin, from a story by DeKnight and Nowlin. It is the sequel to the 2013 film Pacific Rim, with Guillermo del Toro, the director of the original, serving as a producer. The sequel stars John Boyega (also making his producer debut), as well as Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Adria Arjona, and Zhang Jin, with Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman returning from the original film. Pacific Rim Uprising is a springboard for a cinematic universe, where DeKnight revealed “If enough people show up to this, we’ve already talked about the plot of the third movie, and how the end of the third movie would expand the universe to a Star Wars/Star Trek-style [franchise or series] where you can go in many, many different directions… You can go main canon, you can go spin-offs, you can go one-offs. Yeah, that’s the plan.” DeKnight also talked about the possibility of a crossover with the MonsterVerse, as co-writer T.S. Nowlin is a member of its writers room.