662 – Blueberry (2004)

spacetime coordinates: Wild West in the 1870sblueberry0403Blueberry (French: Blueberry: L’expérience secrète) is a 2004 French acid western directed by Jan Kounen. It is an adaptation of the Franco-Belgian comic book series Blueberry, illustrated by Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius) and scripted by Jean-Michel Charlier. However, the film has little in common with the source material. The film starred Vincent Cassel as the title character along with Michael Madsen and Juliette Lewis. Although the film is a French production, the film is in English to match the story’s setting in America’s Wild West in the 1870s.

Jean Giraud, the illustrator of the original Blueberry comics, appears in a cameo role in the film, while Geoffrey Lewis, who had appeared in several spaghetti Westerns and his daughter Juliette Lewis play a father and daughter in the movie.blueberry-promoThe movie features several elaborate psychedelic 3D computer graphics sequences as a means of portraying Blueberry’s shamanic experiences from his point of view. Jan Kounen, the director of the film, drew upon his extensive first hand knowledge of ayahuasca rituals in order to design the visuals for these sequences, Kounen having undergone the ceremony at least a hundred times  with Shipibo language speakers in Peru. An authentic Shipibo ayahuasca guide appears in the film and performs a sacred chant.

The film has managed to build a reputation as a cult success and as a trip filmTetsuo Nagata‘s cinematography is also referred to as ‘sublime’. Tripzine noted the film has “the best, most accurate, most lovingly crafted shamanic rituals and psychedelic visuals ever created for home viewing”, and praised Blueberry’s uniqueness among westerns for having a climax that revolved around shamanic ritual rather than a gun battle. (wiki)

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657 – Mind Game (2004)

GKIDS-MG-poster-webMind Game (マインド・ゲーム) is a 2004 Japanese animated feature film based on Robin Nishi’s manga of the same name. It was planned, produced and primarily animated by Studio 4°C and adapted and directed by Masaaki Yuasa in his directorial debut, with chief animation direction and model sheets by Yūichirō Sueyoshi, art direction by Tōru Hishiyama and groundwork and further animation direction by Masahiko Kubo.

It is unusual among features other than anthology films in using a series of disparate visual styles to tell one continuous story. As Yuasa commented in a Japan Times interview, “Instead of telling it serious and straight, I went for a look that was a bit wild and patchy. I think that Japanese animation fans today don’t necessarily demand something that’s so polished. You can throw different styles at them and they can still usually enjoy it.”1514453512766The film received a cult audience and was well received, winning multiple awards worldwide, and has been praised by directors Satoshi Kon and Bill Plympton. Allegedly, according to Tekkonkinkreet director Michael Arias, there was consideration for a release of the film on R1 DVD but it fell through. The film is now available to stream on Netflix in Australia as of 2016. GKIDS announced that they licensed the film, which will be streamed on VRV Select on December 29, 2017 followed by a limited theatrical run in February 2018 and a home video release in spring 2018. (wiki)

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647 – Timecop (1994)

spacetime coordinates: 1929 NY2004 / 1994 Washington MV5BOGUxOTI3OGUtY2UyYS00NzRmLTk2ODQtMGRjZGY2Mjk5NTczXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDc2NjEyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,685,1000_AL_Timecop is a 1994 American science fiction action film directed by Peter Hyams and co-written by Mike Richardson and Mark Verheiden. The film is based on Timecop, a story created by Richardson, written by Verheiden, and drawn by Ron Randall, which appeared in the anthology comic Dark Horse Comics, published by Dark Horse Comics.

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The film stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as Max Walker, a police officer in 1994 and later a U.S. Federal agent in 2004, when time travel has been made possible. It also stars Ron Silver as a rogue politician and Mia Sara as Melissa Walker, the agent’s wife.

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641 – La planète sauvage / Fantastic Planet (1973)

918-3Qh8wdL._SL1500_Fantastic Planet (French: La Planète sauvage, Czech: Divoká planeta, lit. The Wild Planet) is a 1973 animated science fiction film directed by René Laloux and written by Laloux and Roland Topor. Topor also completed the film’s production design and it was animated at Jiří Trnka Studio in Prague. The entire animation team was composed of women.

The film was an international co-production between companies from France and Czechoslovakia (The animation was started in Prague but had to be moved to Paris to avoid interference by the Communist authorities who were in power at the time).tumblr_ol3jr9nPW41vl5jyeo1_1280The allegorical story, about humans living on a strange planet dominated by giant humanoid aliens (blue Draags) who consider them animals, is based on the 1957 novel Oms en série by French writer Stefan Wul. (wiki)   imdb   Interpretations

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628 – Gattaca (1997)

6ebe946dd3dc520c70b46f17d25e8b8bGattaca is a 1997 American science fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, with Jude LawLoren DeanErnest BorgnineGore Vidal, and Alan Arkin appearing in supporting roles. The film presents a biopunk vision of a future society driven by eugenics where potential children are conceived through genetic selection to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents. The film centers on Vincent Freeman, played by Hawke, who was conceived outside the eugenics program and struggles to overcome genetic discrimination to realize his dream of traveling into space.

The movie draws on concerns over reproductive technologies which facilitate eugenics, and the possible consequences of such technological developments for society. It also explores the idea of destiny and the ways in which it can and does govern lives. Characters in Gattaca continually battle both with society and with themselves to find their place in the world and who they are destined to be according to their genes.

The film’s title is based on the letters G, A, T, and C, which stand for guanineadeninethymine, and cytosine, the four nucleobases of DNA. The movie uses a swimming treadmill in the opening minutes to punctuate the swimming and futuristic themes. The futuristic turbine cars are based on 1960s car models like Rover P6Citroën DS19 and Studebaker Avanti, and futuristic buildings represent modern architecture of the 1950s. (wiki)

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627 – The Running Man (1987)

spacetime coordinates: 2017 – 2019 Los Angeles

6bf3e416ecea49a94635f6178c8be7d6The Running Man is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Michael Glaser and starring Arnold SchwarzeneggerMaría Conchita AlonsoYaphet Kotto, and Richard Dawson. It is very loosely based on the 1982 novel of the same name written by Stephen King and published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. The film’s story, set in a dystopian United States between 2017 and 2019, is about a television show called The Running Man, where convicted criminal “runners” must escape death at the hands of professional killers.

Original director Andrew Davis was fired one week into filming and replaced by Glaser. Schwarzenegger has stated this was a “terrible decision”, as Glaser “shot the movie like it was a television show, losing all the deeper themes”.  (wiki)

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624 – The Crazies (2010)

5d2b3741a984be2a2ce8181d5d4f946dThe Crazies is a 2010 American science fiction horror film directed by Breck Eisner, with a screenplay by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright. The film is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name by George A. Romero, who is an executive producer of the remake. The original film follows two stories, one about the civilians and soldiers in the town and the other following politicians and military leaders away from the town. The remake focuses on a family that lives in the town and has to survive the outbreak.805407df02e492992d4b79f48087570bThe Crazies stars Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. The film takes place in the fictional town of Ogden Marsh, Pierce CountyIowa, “friendliest place on Earth,” whose town water supply is accidentally infected with the “Trixie” virus. After an incubation period of 48 hours, this virus gradually transforms the mental state of the infected into that of cold, calculating, depraved, bloodthirsty killers, who then prey on family and neighbors alike.

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