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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655 – The 12th Man / Den 12. mann (2017)

spacetime coordinates: 1943  Norway > Sweden, via Lyngenhalvøya and Manndalen

MV5BYzI1MzA0NjUtNWI2MC00NDg0LThiYmItN2RjZWRmN2E0MmVmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODY3Nzc0OTk@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_The 12th Man is a 2017 Norwegian historical drama directed by Harald Zwart and written by Petter Skavlan. The main role of Jan Baalsrud is played by Thomas Gullestad, who escapes from Germans in Rebbenesøya, via Lyngen Fjord and Manndalen, to neutral Sweden in the spring of 1943.

The film is based on the same historical events and has the same protagonist as the Arne Skouen Oscar-nominated film Nine Lives, in which Baalrud’s courage and stamina were also emphasized. The 12th Man is also based on the book Jan Baalsrud and Those Who Saved Him, written by Tore Haug and Astrid Karlsen Scott. Unlike the book, the film puts much emphasis on the efforts of those who helped Baalsrud escape, which was in line with Baalsrud’s own statements about the local population’s courage. The 12th Man’s plot also details the pursuit of Baalsrud from the Gestapo leadership’s perspective, with the escape being depicted as cat-and-mouse game between Sturmbannführer Kurt Stage and Baalsrud. According to German documents, the Nazis believed that the entire Resistance had perished in a blast, meaning that there are no reports indicating that the Germans even knew to hunt for Baalsrud. Baalsrud himself, however, claims that he killed two German soldiers in the fight, which would have definitely created a sharp German response. (wiki)

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653 – Of Gods and Men / Des hommes et des dieux (2010)

spacetime coordinates: 1996, Algeria, Abbey of Our Lady of Atlas

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”

4c35e6a0d5454Of Gods and Men is a 2010 French drama film directed by Xavier Beauvois, starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale. Its original French language title is Des hommes et des dieux, which means “Of Men and of Gods” and refers to a verse from the Bible shown at the beginning of the film. It centers on the monastery of Tibhirine, where nine Trappist monks lived in harmony with the largely Muslim population of Algeria, until seven of them were kidnapped and assassinated in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War.Of-Gods-and-Men-2010-movie-posterLargely a tale of a peaceful situation between local Christians and Muslims before becoming a lethal one due to external forces, the screenplay focuses on the preceding chain of events in decay of government, expansion of terrorism, and the monks’ confrontation with both the terrorists and the government authorities that led up to their deaths. Principal photography took place at an abandoned monastery in Azrou, Morocco. (wiki)

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622 – Tomb Raider (2013 video game) / Tomb Raider (2018 film)

Tomb-Raider-2018-movie-posterTomb Raider is a 2018 action-adventure film directed by Roar Uthaug, with a screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, from a story by Evan Daugherty and Robertson-Dworet. It is based on the 2013 video game of the same namewith some elements of its sequel by Crystal Dynamics, and is a reboot of the Tomb Raider film series. The film stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, who embarks on a perilous journey to her father’s last-known destination, hoping to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Dominic WestWalton GogginsDaniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas appear in supporting roles.tomb-raider-2013Producer Adrian Askarieh told IGN in an interview that he may oversee a film universe with Just CauseHitmanTomb RaiderDeus Ex, and Thief. Askarieh however is not officially accredited with the production of this movie. (wiki)

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Tomb Raider – FULL GAME WALKTHROUGH

596 – Jupiter’s Moon / Jupiter holdja (2017)

spacetime coordinates: 2010’s Hungary / Budapest169The juxtaposition of supernatural thriller tropes and urgent socio-political issues in Kornél Mundruczó’s latest movie — an original take on the superhero origin story set to the backdrop of the refugee crisis — might prove a delicate one for some viewers to take. Those unperturbed, however, should find much to relish in Jupiter’s Moon, a film that somewhat lightly plays with themes of religion and immigration as it rumbles, crashes, and ultimately soars through the streets of the Hungarian capitol. It’s a tricky balance and Mundruczó (who had a break-out with his canine revolt film White God in 2014) strikes it with style and confidence (even going so far as to signpost it in an opening prologue that reminds the audience that the titular gas giant’s largest orbiting body is called Europa, and that many believe that large oceans rest beneath its icy surface where a “cradle of life” might exist). The hero of Jupiter’s Moon, a young Syrian refugee with the connotation heavy name of Aryan (played by Majd Asmi), does not find a cradle of life in his Europa. To the contrary, in fact, he’s gunned down in the opening minutes… (read more)

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574 – Katyn (2007)

spacetime coordinates: September 1939 – January 1945  Poland / RussiaMV5BMjk3ODEzNzIwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzM5Mjc1MQ@@._V1_SY1000_SX695_AL_Katyń (Polish pronunciation: [ˈkatɨɲ]) is a 2007 Polish film about the 1940 Katyn massacre, directed by Andrzej Wajda. It is based on the book Post Mortem: The Story of Katyn by Andrzej Mularczyk.

The events of Katyn are relayed through the eyes of the women, the mothers, wives, and daughters of the victims executed on Stalin’s orders by the NKVD in 1940.

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