The Man Who Wasn’t There is a 2001 British-American neo-noir crime film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Billy Bob Thornton stars in the title role. Also featured are Tony Shalhoub, Scarlett Johansson, James Gandolfini, and Coen regulars Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco, Richard Jenkins and Jon Polito.
The original soundtrack to The Man Who Wasn’t There consists of classical music, mainly piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, interspersed with cues composed by Carter Burwell.
spacetime coordinates: 1648 England
A Field in England is a 2013 British historical psychological horror film directed by Ben Wheatley. The film, shot in black-and-white, is set during the mid-17th century English Civil War.
Wheatley became interested in the film’s historical setting of the English Civil War when he filmed a documentary about the Sealed Knot, a historical reenactment society. In his research, Wheatley also learned about the use of hallucinogens during the 17th century.
Variety reported that the film was described as “a psychedelic trip into magic and madness”. Wheatley said A Field in England combines “the more psychedelic elements” from his previous films Kill List and Sightseers and “weaves in our take on historical drama”
spacetime coordinates: autumn and around Christmas 1989 to the backdrop of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution // jeseniky mountains // small railway station Bílý Potok // Prague
Alois Nebel is a 2011 Czech animated drama / neo-noir directed by Tomáš Luňák, based on the comic-book trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromír 99.
It is set in the late 1980s in a small village in the Jeseník Mountains, close to the Polish border, and tells the story of a train dispatcher who begins to suffer from hallucinations where the present converges with the dark past of the expulsion of Germans after World War II. The black-and-white film was animated mainly through rotoscoping and stars Miroslav Krobot as the title character.
Europa (known as Zentropa in North America) is a 1991 Danish art drama film directed by Lars von Trier. It is von Trier’s third theatrical feature film and the final film in his Europa trilogy following The Element of Crime (1984) and Epidemic (1987). Europa was influenced by Franz Kafka‘s Amerika, and the title was chosen “as an echo” of that novel.
A young, idealistic American hopes to “show some kindness” to the German people soon after the end of World War II. In US-occupied Germany, he takes on work as a sleeping car conductor for the Zentropa railway network, falls in love with a femme fatale, and becomes embroiled in a pro-Nazi terrorist conspiracy.
Europa employs an experimental style of cinema, combining largely black and white visuals with occasional intrusions of colour having actors interact with rear-projected footage, and layering different images over one another to surreal effect. The voice-over narration uses an unconventional second-person narrative imitative of a hypnotist
The film’s characters, music, dialogue, and plot are self-consciously melodramatic and ironically imitative of film noir conventions.
spacetime coordinates: 1910’s Russia
The Role (Russian: Роль Rol) is a 2013 Russian drama film directed by Konstantin Lopushansky and starring Maksim Sukhanov. It tells the story of an actor who, influenced by the ideas of symbolism and the Silver Age, takes on the greatest role of his life – the role of another man (his doppelgänger), a revolutionary leader in the newly established Soviet Russia.
Based on true incidents in the lives of Russia’s symbolists
Ida (pronounced [ˈida]) is a 2013 Polish drama film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski and written by Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Set in Poland in 1962, it is about a young woman on the verge of taking vows as a Catholic nun. Orphaned as an infant during the German occupation of World War II, she must now meet her aunt. The former Communist state prosecutor and only surviving relative tells her that her parents were Jewish. The two women embark on a road trip into the Polish countryside to learn the fate of their family.
Called a “compact masterpiece” and an “eerily beautiful road movie”, the film has also been said to “contain a cosmos of guilt, violence and pain”, even if certain historical events (German occupation of Poland, the Holocaust and Stalinism) remain unsaid: “none of this is stated, but all of it is built, so to speak, into the atmosphere: the country feels dead, the population sparse”. ( wiki )
spacetime coordinates: Kraków during World War II
Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film relates a period in the life of Oskar Schindler, an ethnic German businessman, during which he saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.
Due to the increased interest in Kraków created by the film, the city bought Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory in 2007 to create a permanent exhibition about the German occupation of the city from 1939 to 1945. The museum opened in June 2010.