China banned the Comedy Central cartoon “South Park” after its 299th episode, “Band in China,” aired on October 2. It mocked Hollywood’s submission to the country. In response, “South Park” declared “F—” the Chinese government” in its 300th episode, and the show’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker published a mock apology. (businessinsider)
timespace coordinates: 1920s London > Shanghai > small village in a remote area of China (Huangyao Ancient Town (黄姚古镇, huángyáo gǔzhèn) in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)The Painted Veil is a 2006 American drama film directed by John Curran. The screenplay by Ron Nyswaner is based on the 1925 novel of the same title by W. Somerset Maugham. Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Toby Jones, Lü Yan, Anthony Wong Chau Sang and Liev Schreiber appear in the leading roles.
This is the third film adaptation of the Maugham book, following a 1934 film starring Greta Garbo and Herbert Marshall and a 1957 version called The Seventh Sin with Bill Travers and Eleanor Parker. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: In the near future the world is divided between those who live “inside”, in high-density cities, and the poor underclass who live “outside.” Access to the cities is highly restricted and regulated through the use of health documents, known as “papeles” in the global pidgin language of the day (composed of elements of English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Italian, Farsi and Mandarin).
Most city residents venture outside only after dark since direct sunlight is now considered hazardous to their health. However, a few residents still venture outdoors during the day. The government appears to be authoritarian and dystopian. Society is regulated by various “codes”. The code of the movie title prohibits “genetically incestuous reproduction”, which may occur as a result of the various medical technologies which have become commonplace, such as cloning.
William Geld (Tim Robbins), an insurance fraud investigator, is sent to Shanghai to interview employees at a company known as “The Sphinx”, which manufactures “covers”, ostensibly “insurance cover documents” but which in fact regulate the movements of people among cities and “inside” and “outside”.
Code 46 is a 2003 British film directed by Michael Winterbottom, with screenplay by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It was produced by BBC Films and Revolution Films. It is a dystopic science fiction love story exploring the implications of current trends in biotechnology.
The soundtrack was composed by David Holmes under the name “Free Association”. The film was shot on location in Shanghai, Dubai, and Rajasthan, with interiors done on stage in London. The mix of foreign locations was chosen because the juxtaposition of elements in these cities offered a believable futuristic setting. (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)
Love, Death & Robots (stylized as LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS) is an American adult animated anthology web television series on Netflix. The 18-episode first season was released on March 15, 2019. The series is produced by Joshua Donen, David Fincher, Jennifer Miller, and Tim Miller. Each episode was animated by different crews from a range of countries. The series is a re-imagining of Fincher and Miller’s long in-development reboot of the 1981 animated science fiction film Heavy Metal.
In March 2019, Netflix revealed that it was experimenting with a new approach by including a different order of episodes to different users. (*four unique episode orders, released to users at random.) (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)
timespace coordinates: In the future, the Sun has aged and is about to turn into a red giant, pushing the nations of the world to consolidate into the United Earth Government, a world government, to initiate a project to move the Earth out of the Solar System to the Alpha Centauri system, in order to preserve further human civilization. Enormous thrusters running on fusion power are built across the planet to propel the Earth. Human population is reduced severely due to catastrophic tides that occur after the planetary engines stop Earth’s rotation, and later as the planet moves away from the Sun, much of the surface is frozen due to lowered temperatures, forcing humans to live in vast underground cities built adjacent to the engines.
The Wandering Earth (Liu lang di qiu) is a 2019 Chinese science fiction film directed by Frant Gwo, based on the novella of the same name by Locus Award and Hugo Award-winning author Liu Cixin. It stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, Zhao Jinmai, Wu Jing and Qu Jingjing. (wiki)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Wandering Earth is China’s “first full-scale interstellar” film.