Seven Worlds, One Planet is a documentary series from the BBC Natural History Unit. The seven-part series, in which each episode focuses on one continent, debuted on 27 October 2019 and is narrated and presented by naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Over 1,500 people worked on the series, which was filmed over 1,794 days, with 92 shoots across 41 different countries. (wiki)
One Strange Rock is an American television documentary series, produced by Nutopia in conjunction with Darren Aronofsky, which premiered on National Geographic on March 26, 2018. On July 25, 2018, National Geographic renewed the series for a second season, which is set to premiere sometime in 2019.
One Strange Rock tells the story of how life survives and thrives on planet Earth, as told by eight astronauts from their unique perspective of being away from Earth (for about 1000 days). Hosted by actor Will Smith, One Strange Rock features contributions from astronauts Chris Hadfield, Nicole Stott, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Mae Jemison, Leland Melvin, Mike Massimino, Jerry Linenger, and Peggy Whitson. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1990’s New Hampshire
“reality isn’t what it used to be…”
In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 American horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca. It stars Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner and Charlton Heston. Informally, the film is the third installment in Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy, preceded by The Thing and Prince of Darkness.
The film pays tribute to the work of seminal horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, with many references to his stories and themes. Its title is a play on Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, and insanity plays as great a role in the film as it does in Lovecraft’s fiction. The opening scene depicts Trent’s confinement to an asylum, with the bulk of the story told in flashback, a common technique of Lovecraft. Reference is made to Lovecraftian settings and details (such as a character that shares the name of Lovecraft’s Pickman family). Sutter Cane’s novels have similar titles to H.P. Lovecraft stories : The Whisperer of the Dark (The Whisperer in Darkness), The Thing in the Basement (The Thing on the Doorstep), Haunter out of Time (The Haunter of the Dark/The Shadow Out of Time), and The Hobbs End Horror (The Dunwich Horror), the latter also referencing Hobbs End underground station from Nigel Kneale‘s Quatermass and the Pit.
Only Lovers Left Alive is a 2013 comedy-drama film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi and John Hurt. An international co-production of the United Kingdom and Germany, the film focuses on the romance between two vampires. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2010’s Iranian ghost-town Bad CityA Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Persian: دختری در شب تنها به خانه میرود Dokhtari dar šab tanhâ be xâne miravad) is a 2014 Persian-language American vampire western film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (imdb). Tagged as “The first Iranian vampire Western“, it was chosen to show in the “Next” program at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
The film is described as being set in “the Iranian ghost-town Bad City” and depicts the doings of “a lonesome vampire”. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2000’s Texas > Arizona > California
Zombieland is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic horror zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer in his theatrical debut. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse.
The film follows a geeky college kid making his way through the zombie apocalypse, meeting three strangers along the way and together taking an extended road trip across the Southwestern United States in an attempt to find a sanctuary free from zombies. (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.