Joseph Needham’s sketchbook from his visit to the Buddhist grottoes at Chienfodong 千佛洞 (Qianfodong), Dunhuang, Gansu Province,… (NRI2/5/12/4)
One Strange Rock is an American television documentary series, produced by Nutopia in conjunction with Darren Aronofsky, which premiered on National Geographic on March 26, 2018. On July 25, 2018, National Geographic renewed the series for a second season, which is set to premiere sometime in 2019.
One Strange Rock tells the story of how life survives and thrives on planet Earth, as told by eight astronauts from their unique perspective of being away from Earth (for about 1000 days). Hosted by actor Will Smith, One Strange Rock features contributions from astronauts Chris Hadfield, Nicole Stott, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Mae Jemison, Leland Melvin, Mike Massimino, Jerry Linenger, and Peggy Whitson. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2010’s small rural town Centerville
The Dead Don’t Die is a 2019 American horror comedy film / cautionary tale written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It features an ensemble cast including Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Austin Butler, RZA, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez, Carol Kane and Selena Gomez and follows a small town’s police force as they combat a sudden zombie invasion. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1970s India / the Pacific Ocean / Mexico – 2000’s Montreal
Life of Pi is a 2012 survival drama film based on Yann Martel‘s 2001 novel of the same name. Directed by Ang Lee, the film’s adapted screenplay was written by David Magee, and it stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Tabu Hashmi, Adil Hussain, and Gérard Depardieu. The storyline revolves around an Indian man named “Pi” Patel, telling a novelist about his life story, and how at 16 he survives a shipwreck and is adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. (wiki)
Journey is a multiplayer / single-player indie adventure game developed by Thatgamecompany and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network in March 2012 and ported to PlayStation 4 in July 2015. It was later ported to Microsoft Windows in June 2019.
In Journey, the player controls a robed figure in a vast desert, traveling towards a mountain in the distance. Other players on the same journey can be discovered, and two players can meet and assist each other, but they cannot communicate via speech or text and cannot see each other’s names until after the game’s credits. The only form of communication between the two is a musical chime, which transforms dull pieces of cloth found throughout the levels into vibrant red, affecting the game world and allowing the player to progress through the levels. The developers sought to evoke in the player a sense of smallness and wonder, and to forge an emotional connection between them and the anonymous players they meet along the way. The music, composed by Austin Wintory, dynamically responds to the player’s actions, building a single theme to represent the game’s emotional arc throughout the story.
Reviewers of the game praised the visual and auditory art as well as the sense of companionship created by playing with a stranger, calling it a moving and emotional experience, and have since listed it as one of the greatest video games of all time. (wiki)
Samsara is a 2011 American non-narrative documentary film of international imagery directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson. Samsara was filmed over a period of five years in 25 different countries around the world.
The official website describes the film, “Expanding on the themes they developed in Baraka (1992) and Chronos (1985), Samsara explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of humanity’s spirituality and the human experience. Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation.” (wiki)
Captain Fantastic is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Matt Ross and starring Viggo Mortensen. The story centers on a family that is forced by circumstances to reintegrate into society after living in isolation for a decade.
[plot] Ben Cash and his wife Leslie and their six children live in the Washington wilderness. Ben and Leslie are former anarchist activists disillusioned with capitalism and American life, and chose to instill survivalist skills, left wing politics, and philosophy in their children – educating them to think critically, training them to be self-reliant, physically fit and athletic, guiding them without technology, demonstrating the beauty of coexisting with nature and celebrating Noam Chomsky‘s birthday instead of Christmas… (read more – wiki)