Braveheart is a 1995 American epic war film directed and co-produced by Mel Gibson, who portrays William Wallace, a late-13th-century Scottish warrior. The film is fictionally based on the life of Wallace leading the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. The film also stars Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan and Catherine McCormack. The story is inspired by Blind Harry‘s epic poem The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace and was adapted for the screen by Randall Wallace. It has been described as one of the most historically inaccurate modern films. (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)
Hail Satan? is a 2019 American documentary film about The Satanic Temple, including its origins and grassroots political activism. Directed by Penny Lane, the film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The film shows Satanists working to preserve the separation of church and state against the perceived privilege of the Christian right. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: Medieval Scotland
Brave is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman and co-directed by Steve Purcell.
Set in the Scottish Highlands, the film tells the story of a princess named Merida who defies an age-old custom, causing chaos in the kingdom by expressing the desire not to be betrothed. Chapman drew inspiration for the film’s story from her relationship with her own daughter. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: In the 26th century, humanity has left an overpopulated Earth to colonize a new solar system. The central planets formed the Alliance and won a war against the outer planet Independents—those who resisted joining the Alliance.
It is a continuation of Whedon’s short-lived 2002 Fox television series Firefly and stars the same cast, taking place after the events of the final episode. Set in 2517, Serenity is the story of the captain and crew of Serenity, a “Firefly-class” spaceship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing Independent side against the Alliance. Their lives of smuggling and cargo-running are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s United States, the Marshall Islands
The Atomic Cafe is a 1982 American documentary film produced and directed by Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States’ National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The film covers the beginnings of the era of nuclear warfare, created from a broad range of archival material from the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s including newsreel clips, television news footage, U.S. government-produced films (including military training films), advertisements, television and radio programs. News footage reflected the prevailing understanding of the media and public.
Though the topic of atomic holocaust is a grave matter, The Atomic Cafe approaches it with black humor. Much of the humor derives from the modern audience’s reaction to the old training films, such as the Duck and Cover film shown in schools.
The Atomic Cafe was released at the height of nostalgia and cynicism in America. By 1982, Americans lost much of their faith in their government following the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and the seemingly never-ending arms race with the Soviet Union. The Atomic Cafe reflects and reinforces this idea as it exposes how the atomic bomb’s dangers were downplayed and how the government used films to shape public opinion.
Bob Mielke, in “Rhetoric and Ideology in the Nuclear Test Documentary” (Film Quarterly) discusses the release of The Atomic Cafe: “This satire feature was released at the height of the nuclear freeze movement (which was in turn responding to the Reagan administration’s surreal handling of the arms race.)”
Patricia Aufderheide, in Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction touches on the significance of The Atomic Cafe as a window into the past of government propaganda and disinformation during the years following the advent of the Atomic Bomb. “Propaganda, also known as disinformation, public diplomacy, and strategic communication, continues to be an important tool for governments. But stand-alone documentary is no longer an important part of public relations campaigns aimed at the general public.” (wiki)
Because the site bears direct tangible evidence of the nuclear tests conducted there amid the paradoxical tropical location, UNESCO determined that the atoll symbolizes the dawn of the nuclear age and named it a World Heritage Site on 3 August 2010.
Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence … conveying the power of … nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise.