136 – A Cure for Wellness (2016)

spacetime coordinates: 2016 // remote location in the Swiss Alps

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A Cure for Wellness is a 2016 American-German psychological horror thriller film directed by Gore Verbinski and written by Justin Haythe. The film stars Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth, and follows a young American executive who is sent to a mysterious rehabilitation center in the Swiss Alps.

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A Cure for Wellness received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its visuals, performances and ambition, but criticism for its length, plot and structure.

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119 – Legion (TV series 2017– )

Legion is an American cable television series created for FX by Noah Hawley, based on the Marvel Comics character David Haller / Legion. It is connected to the X-Men film series, the first television series to be so, and is produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television. Hawley serves as showrunner on the series.

Dan Stevens stars as Haller, a mutant diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Jean Smart also star.

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as a director Hawley wanted the series to be highly stylized, describing his vision for it as “a 1964 Terence Stamp movie”. It was not feasible to literally translate Bill Sienkiewicz‘s iconic artwork of the character to the screen, and Hawley wanted the series to have “its own visual aesthetic to it, and part of that is being a story kind of out of time and out of place”. He stated that “the design of a show has to have its own internal logic”, and compared this sensibility to the series Hannibal, which he said was “a great example of something that had this almost fetishistic beauty to everything that you saw, whether it was food or violence.” Hawley elaborated that the design choice of 60s British films came about because “this whole show is not the world, it’s David’s experience of the world. He’s piecing his world together from nostalgia and memory and the world becomes that.”

At New York Comic-Con 2016, Donner said that the series is “far from the X-Men movies, but still lives in that universe. The only way for X-Men to keep moving forward is to be original and to surprise. And this is a surprise. It is very, very different.” Hawley explained that because the series is depicting the title character’s “subjective reality”, it would not have to address any connections to the films straight away, at first “had to stand on its own feet” before exploring those connections more;  He did state that “you can’t tell this story without” acknowledging that Legion is the son of Charles Xavier, who appears in the films. (read more – shared universe connections)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5114356/

097 – The Neon Demon (2016)

spacetime coordinates: 2015 Los Angeles

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The Neon Demon is a 2016 psychological horror film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, co-written by Mary Laws, Polly Stenham, and Refn, and starring Elle Fanning.

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The plot follows an aspiring model in Los Angeles whose beauty and youth generate intense fascination and jealousy within the industry. Supporting roles are played by Karl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Desmond Harrington, Christina Hendricks, and Keanu Reeves.

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096 – Drive (2011)

spacetime coordinates: 2011 Los Angeles

Drive is a 2011 American neo-noir crime film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and written by Hossein Amini, based on the 2005 novel by James Sallis. It stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks.

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Journalists and reviewers have called Drive a “classic Los Angeles heist-gone-wrong story”, a “tribute to the genre of car films” in the vein of movies like Bullitt (1968). As a character study, Drive examines themes of “loyalty, loneliness and the dark impulses that rise up even when we try our hardest to suppress them.” It combines comic gore, film noir and B-movie style and Hollywood spectacle, resulting in “a bizarre concoction…reminiscent of David Lynch‘s Mulholland DriveQuentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction, and [with] angst-laden love scenes that would not be out of place in a Scandinavian drama”.  – read more about  Style and inspiration – 

the film contains abundant, evocative, intense images of Los Angeles. from the little seen back streets of downtown LA to the dry arid outposts on the peaks of the desert landscape surrounding it, LA is re-imagined all the way down to the rocky cliffs by the sea.

While Drive is set in the present day, it carries a heavy 1980s atmosphere that is cautiously set from beginning to end and is underlined not only by the vehicles or music and clothes, but also by its architecture. The parts of the city seen in the Valley and by downtown Los Angeles are cheap stucco and mirrored glass. Refn avoided certain areas to preserve the gloomy atmosphere often leaving out more contemporary buildings. Drab background settings include the Southern California commercial strip. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, whenever gleaming buildings are shown, it is because they are being seen from a distance. Refn shot those scenes from a helicopter at night in Bunker Hill, Los Angeles.

 

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