1146 – Baraka (1992)

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

1011 – The House That Jack Built (2018)

timespace coordinates:  1970s and 1980s  Washington.

!extreme violence!

THTJB-AlternatePosterThe-House-That-Jack-Built-Movie-Poster-LarsThe House That Jack Built is a 2018 psychological horror art film written and directed by Lars von Trier, starring Matt Dillon in the title role of Jack. The story follows Jack, a serial killer, over the course of 12 years in the 1970s and 1980s in the U.S. state of Washington. The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, marking von Trier’s return to the festival after more than six years. (wiki)

The shot of Jack and Verge standing in a boat strongly resembles the painting “La Barque de Dante” by Eugène Delacroix, which was in itself influenced by “The Raft of the Medusa” (Le Radeau de La Méduse) by Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault. (read more: trivia)

von Trier described the film as celebrating “the idea that life is evil and soulless”.

imdb   /   rottentomatoes

950 – The Captain / Der Hauptmann (2017)

timespace coordinates: 1945. Nazi Germany (the last moments of World War II)

the captain posterThe Captain (German: Der Hauptmann) is a 2017 German Art House & war drama film directed by Robert Schwentke.

The film tells the story of German war criminal Willi Herold, who assumed a stolen identity as a German officer and orchestrated the killing of deserters and other prisoners at one of the Emslandlager camps. (wiki)

plakat_1_derhauptmann_welkino_hugeSimultaneously a historical docudrama and sociological examination with undertones of the absurd, The Captain presents fascism as something of a game to be played by those most gullible and unscrupulous. (rt)

imdb

947 – Ashes in the Snow (2018)

timespace coordinates: 1941  Kaunas, Lithuania amid Stalin’s reign of terror in the Baltic region > Soviet labor camp (Siberia) > the Arctic Circlemv5bzgfjymjlzmmtzdqxzc00mdzjltkznzmtntiwnzu5ngy5nziyxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjkzodg0mzc@._v1_sy1000_cr0,0,675,1000_al_Ashes in the Snow is a World War II drama film directed by Marius A. Markevicius based on The New York Times best selling novel Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It stars Bel PowleyMartin WallströmLisa Loven Kongsli, Jonah Hauer-KingPeter Franzén and Sophie Cookson. (wiki)

eastern bloc

imdb   /   Eastern_Bloc

856 – Sorstalanság / Fateless (2005)

timespace coordinates: World War II Hungary / Auschwitz / Buchenwald001_pFateless (Hungarian: Sorstalanság) is a Hungarian film directed by Lajos Koltai, released in 2005. It is based on the semi-autobiographical novel Fatelessness by the Nobel Prize-winner Imre Kertész, who also wrote the screenplay. It tells the story of a teenage boy who is sent to Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

The film’s music was composed by Ennio Morricone, and one of its songs was sung by Lisa Gerrard. The film is one of the most expensive movies ever produced in Hungary, with a cost of $12 million. (wiki)


imdb

848 – New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle (2018 book)

As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age.new dark age
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime. (VERSO)

James Bridle on New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future



man always makes it clear to himself: “You are using things which have the intention of not being penetrable.” 1180

558 – Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry by Esther Leslie

“Through coal’s carbon chemistry, and its waste product of coal-tar, a realm of synthetic colours and substances is unlocked from a dense and primitive blackness. The first magic act is coal-tar becoming colour, the first of thousands of substitutions. This magic is a black force. Gravity’s Rainbow lets loose its narrative strands amongst a world of acronyms and neologisms, fictional and actual. spqr, arf, mmpi, soe, spog,
cios, bafo, nta, shaef, pwd, cns, pisces, viam, tsagi, niso, bafo, okw, achtung, Kryptosam, Hexeszüchtigung, ctenophile, Oneirine. These clatter like the evil spells from a necromancer’s manual. These clotted words spell out the coordinates of military, economic and technological power. The most important of these cryptic formulae, the acronyms that generate the rainbow and allow the tracing of its arc,are the colour factory ig Farben and the German Second World War rocket weaponry known as v-1, v-2 or a4. Pynchon brings these two industrial-technological forces into proximity with magic, mysticism and alchemy.”

“Inside the arcades, the ur-architectural phenomenon of the nineteenth century, transitional colours, twinkle, glimmer and reflection danced, and all the more charmingly as night fell. In the early days the gas lighting, whose illumination was an uneven flickering, cast a sparkly sheen over everything. In the arcades, their historian Walter Benjamin claimed, ‘falser colours are possible’, and everything is doused in a special ‘glaucous gleam’, which is reminiscent of aquariums, as Friedrich Gerstäcker imagined in a fictional transposition and, after him, Aragon made so vivid in Paris Peasant. In Gerstäcker’s The Sunken City, the hero sees, to his amazement, that
with the gradual infusion of twilight, these undersea corridors just as gradually lit up by themselves. For everywhere in the bushes of coral and sponge were sitting broad-brimmed, glassy-looking medusas, which already at the outset had given off a weak,greenish phosphorescent light that quickly picked up strength at the approach of darkness and now was shining with great intensity.
The arcades are zones of special effects where optical illusions, tricks of the light and transformations readily occur. This is why the arcades appear so magical, but it also intimates something of their propensity to deception and delusion. The very magic of the space colludes with the commodity promises on sale.”

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Celestis offers space burials, with the ashes compacted in a capsule and sent into orbit (before re-entering) or fired to the moon or into deep space (for ever). That which is legally a ‘final deposition’ can be commodified further in an effort to afford a technologically guaranteed sublime.They also offer a star-naming service.   At the start of the twenty-first century, a Chicago company announced that it had created a new way to memorialize loved ones: by turning their charred remains into a gem. The ‘patent-pending’ LifeGem offers to press the cremated ashes of a lost one into a diamond. You can have your loved one with you whenever you choose, which is something that no other memorial product offers, remarks Greg Herro, LifeGem’s chief executive. ‘Nothing else quite offers that everlasting love.’ (…) ‘The proprietary LifeGem creation process creates diamonds from the true essence of our loved ones, the carbon.”

Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry by Esther Leslie

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Runge_M_80663

Der Bildungstrieb der Stoffe : veranschaulicht in selbstständig gewachsenen Bildern (Fortsetzung der Musterbilder)

by Runge, F. F., 1795-1867 (Includes 23 smaller chromatograms mounted on the title page surrounding the title, and 60 larger chromatograms mounted on 31 leaves. The chromatograms consist of concentric circles of color produced by applying a liquid chemical compound to filter paper.)