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)
http://thatgamecompany.com/journey/ / EPIC store
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)
imdb / fantasy_coffins / 819 – Olivier de Sagazan
timespace coordinates: 2010’s Washington wildernes / New Mexico
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)
Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke. The film is often compared to Koyaanisqatsi, the first of the Qatsi films by Godfrey Reggio for which Fricke served as the cinematographer. It is also the most recent film to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, and the first film ever to be restored and scanned at 8K resolution. (wiki)
Named after a Sufi word that translates roughly as “breath of life” or “blessing,” Baraka is Ron Fricke‘s impressive follow-up to Godfrey Reggio‘s non-verbal documentary film Koyaanisqatsi. Fricke was cinematographer and collaborator on Reggio’s film, and for Baraka he struck out on his own to polish and expand the photographic techniques used on Koyaanisqatsi. The result is a tour-de-force in 70mm: a cinematic “guided meditation” (Fricke’s own description) shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period that unites religious ritual, the phenomena of nature, and man’s own destructive powers into a web of moving images. Fricke’s camera ranges, in meditative slow motion or bewildering time-lapse, over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Ryoan-Ji temple in Kyoto, Lake Natron in Tanzania, burning oil fields in Kuwait, the smoldering precipice of an active volcano, a busy subway terminal, tribal celebrations of the Maasai in Kenya, chanting monks in the Dip Tse Chok Ling monastery…and on and on, through locales across the globe. To execute the film’s time-lapse sequences, Fricke had a special camera built that combined time-lapse photography with perfectly controlled movements of the camera. In one evening sequence a desert sky turns black, and the stars roll by, as the camera moves slowly forward under the trees. The feeling is like that of viewing the universe through a powerful telescope: that we are indeed on a tiny orb hurtling through a star-filled void. The film is complemented by the hybrid world-music of Michael Stearns. ~ Anthony Reed, Rovi (rottentomatoes)
imdb / on YouTube
timespace coordinates: 1876 – 1877 California > JapanThe Last Samurai is a 2003 American period action drama film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan and Marshall Herskovitz. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, with Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada, Koyuki, and Shin Koyamada in supporting roles.
Tom Cruise portrays a United States Captain of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact with samurai warriors in the wake of the Meiji Restoration in 19th Century Japan.
1877 — In 1877, nine years after the Meiji Restoratin, a major rebellion in Kyushu concentrated the opposition of conservative elements to the westernization of Japan. The traditional forces, including for example samurai infuriated at no longer being allowed to carry swords, were defeated by the new conscript army. Thousands were executed. Here the brave new officers in their western-style uniforms accept the surrender of un-uniformed rebels. — Image by © Asian Art & Archaeology, Inc./CORBIS
The film’s plot was inspired by the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori, and the westernization of Japan by foreign powers, though in the film the United States is portrayed as the primary force behind the push for westernization. To a lesser extent it is also influenced by the stories of Jules Brunet, a French army captain who fought alongside Enomoto Takeaki in the earlier Boshin War and Frederick Townsend Ward, an American mercenary who helped Westernize the Chinese army by forming the Ever Victorious Army. (wiki)
imdb / Criticism and debate