spacetime coordinates: autumn and around Christmas 1989 to the backdrop of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution // jeseniky mountains // small railway station Bílý Potok // Prague
Alois Nebel is a 2011 Czech animated drama / neo-noir directed by Tomáš Luňák, based on the comic-book trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromír 99.
It is set in the late 1980s in a small village in the Jeseník Mountains, close to the Polish border, and tells the story of a train dispatcher who begins to suffer from hallucinations where the present converges with the dark past of the expulsion of Germans after World War II. The black-and-white film was animated mainly through rotoscoping and stars Miroslav Krobot as the title character.
Voice from the Stone is a 2017 American supernatural psychological thriller film directed by Eric D. Howell and written by Andrew Shaw, based on the novel of the same name by Silvio Raffo. The film stars Emilia Clarke, Marton Csokas, Caterina Murino, Remo Girone, Lisa Gastoni and Edward George Dring.
Season of the Witch is a 2011 American fantasy adventure film directed by Dominic Sena. starring Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman and Claire Foy. The film draws inspiration from the 1957 film The Seventh Seal.
In the 14th century, Teutonic Knights Behmen von Bleibruck (Cage) and Felson (Perlman) are engaged on a crusade, taking part in several different battles throughout the 1330’s (1332 Gulf of Edremit, 1334 Siege of Tripoli, 1337 Imbros & 1339 Artah) and eventually in the Smyrniote crusades. After witnessing the massacre of civilians during the 1344 capture of Smyrna, the two knights desert the Order and the crusade and return to Austria.
Wormwood, the name of the forest where blood is shed, is also the name of a destructive entity in the Bible. This entity, a star whose name also translates as Bitterness, appears to cause widespread illness. According to Revelation 8:10-11, “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water–the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.”
Europa (known as Zentropa in North America) is a 1991 Danish art drama film directed by Lars von Trier. It is von Trier’s third theatrical feature film and the final film in his Europa trilogy following The Element of Crime (1984) and Epidemic (1987). Europa was influenced by Franz Kafka‘s Amerika, and the title was chosen “as an echo” of that novel.
A young, idealistic American hopes to “show some kindness” to the German people soon after the end of World War II. In US-occupied Germany, he takes on work as a sleeping car conductor for the Zentropa railway network, falls in love with a femme fatale, and becomes embroiled in a pro-Nazi terrorist conspiracy.
Europa employs an experimental style of cinema, combining largely black and white visuals with occasional intrusions of colour having actors interact with rear-projected footage, and layering different images over one another to surreal effect. The voice-over narration uses an unconventional second-person narrative imitative of a hypnotist
The film’s characters, music, dialogue, and plot are self-consciously melodramatic and ironically imitative of film noir conventions.
spacetime coordinates: 1985 > 1968 > 1932
the town of Nebelsbad / Lutz in the former Republic of Zubrowka (the farthest eastern boundary of the Europen continent)
The Grand Budapest Hotel is an 2014 comedy film written and directed by Wes Anderson, from a story by Anderson and Hugo Guinness, inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig. The narrative takes the form of a story within a story within a story.
spacetime coordinates: Europe after the Thirty Years’ War
Krabat is a 2008 German fantasy film directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner from a screenplay by Michael Gutmann and Kreuzpaintner, based on Otfried Preußler‘s novel of the same name. The plot is about a boy, Krabat (played by David Kross), who learns black magic from a sorcerer (played by Christian Redl).
Night on Earth is a 1991 film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It is a collection of five vignettes, taking place during the same night, concerning the temporary bond formed between taxi driver and passenger in five cities. Jarmusch wrote the screenplay in about eight days, and the choice of certain cities was largely based on the actors with whom he wanted to work. The soundtrack of the same name is by Tom Waits.