1216 – Sanatorium pod Klepsydra / The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)

Among all the tales there is one, / which you haven’t heard / and which the night reclaimed long ago. / Have you enough patience to listen to it?

The Hourglass Sanatorium (Polish: Sanatorium pod klepsydrą) is a 1973 Polish film directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has, starring Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Mieczysław Voit, Halina Kowalska and Gustaw Holoubek. The story follows a young Jewish man who visits his father in a mystical sanatorium where time does not behave normally. The film is an adaptation of Bruno Schulz‘s story collection Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. It won the Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. (Release)

MV5BMjIxMzBlNDgtMTM0Zi00MmEyLWIxMTAtYTFlNGE4OTMyZWVjL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTAyODkwOQ@@._V1_timespace coordinates: The time period of the film is a mixture of elements from the turn-of-the-century Galicia where Schulz grew up, and Has‘ own pre-World War II memories of the same region

Joseph (Jan Nowicki) travels through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father, Jacob, in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice.

Though Joseph is always shown as an adult, his behavior and the people around often depict him as a child. He befriends Rudolf, a young boy who owns a postage stamp album. The names of the stamps trigger a wealth of association and adventure in Joseph. Among the many occurrences in this visually potent phantasmagoria include Joseph re-entering childhood episodes with his wildly eccentric father (who lives with birds in an attic), being arrested by a mysterious unit of soldiers for having a dream that was severely criticized in high places, reflecting on a girl he fantasized about in his boyhood and commandeering a group of historic wax mannequins. Throughout his strange journey, an ominous blind train conductor reappears like a death figure.

Has also adds a series of reflections on the Holocaust that were not present in the original texts, reading Schulz’s prose through the prism of the author’s death during World War II and the demise of the world he described. (wiki)

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“There are things than cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to loose their integrity in the frailty of realization. ”  (Bruno Schulz)

1063 – The Pianist (2002)

timespace coordinates: 1939 – 1945 Warsaw  during Nazi Germany‘s invasion of Poland /  Warsaw Ghetto /  the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising /  the Warsaw Uprising

MV5BOWRiZDIxZjktMTA1NC00MDQ2LWEzMjUtMTliZmY3NjQ3ODJiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjU0OTQ0OTY@._V1_The Pianist is a 2002 biographical drama film produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The Pianist, a Holocaust memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman, a Holocaust survivor. The film was a co-production of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland.

The story had deep connections with director Roman Polanski because he escaped from the Kraków Ghetto as a child after the death of his mother. He ended up living in a Polish farmer’s barn until the war’s end. His father almost died in the camps, but they reunited after the end of World War II. (wiki)

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1032 – The Last Samurai (2003)

timespace coordinates: 1876 – 1877 California > Japan25b37ffea8d32331The Last Samurai is a 2003 American period action drama film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan and Marshall Herskovitz. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, with Timothy SpallKen WatanabeBilly ConnollyTony GoldwynHiroyuki SanadaKoyuki, and Shin Koyamada in supporting roles.

Tom Cruise portrays a United States Captain of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact with samurai warriors in the wake of the Meiji Restoration in 19th Century Japan.

The film’s plot was inspired by the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori, and the westernization of Japan by foreign powers, though in the film the United States is portrayed as the primary force behind the push for westernization. To a lesser extent it is also influenced by the stories of Jules Brunet, a French army captain who fought alongside Enomoto Takeaki in the earlier Boshin War and Frederick Townsend Ward, an American mercenary who helped Westernize the Chinese army by forming the Ever Victorious Army. (wiki)

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856 – Sorstalanság / Fateless (2005)

timespace coordinates: World War II Hungary / Auschwitz / Buchenwald001_pFateless (Hungarian: Sorstalanság) is a Hungarian film directed by Lajos Koltai, released in 2005. It is based on the semi-autobiographical novel Fatelessness by the Nobel Prize-winner Imre Kertész, who also wrote the screenplay. It tells the story of a teenage boy who is sent to Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

The film’s music was composed by Ennio Morricone, and one of its songs was sung by Lisa Gerrard. The film is one of the most expensive movies ever produced in Hungary, with a cost of $12 million. (wiki)


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738 – 1945 (2017)

timespace coordinates: Hungarian village, 12 August 19451945-497975l1945 is a 2017 Hungarian drama film directed by Ferenc Török and co-written by Török and Gábor T. Szántóe21f3832f85b5990a10d27954dd5c81bOn a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled “fragrances.” (rt)122b5c30a336fe0573696006c6c2d8ef

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728 – HHhH / The Man with the Iron Heart (2017)

timespace coordinates: 1930 Germany – 1942  Pragueb77a8b2ca06f110d28516b6b7f641a30The Man with the Iron Heart (released as HHhH in France and Killing Heydrich in Canada) is an English-language French-Belgian biographical war drama-thriller film directed by Cédric Jimenez and written by David Farr, Audrey Diwan, and Jimenez. It is based on French writer Laurent Binet‘s novel HHhH, and focuses on Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during World War II. The film stars Jason ClarkeRosamund PikeJack O’ConnellJack Reynor, and Mia Wasikowska.  (wiki)

The original working title of this film, “HHhH”, is a war-time Gestapo acronym for Himmlers Hirn heißt Heydrich (“Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich”),

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“When I was a little girl, I would imagine that each of these trees was a sentry watching
over me as I passed by. I wish you could have seen it in those days. We had a party every weekend. There were vast buffets, flowers everywhere. There would be an orchestra
who would play all night. And when it was time to go to bed I would hide under the piano so my mother couldn’t find me. I wish you could have seen it in those times…”

609 – The Book Thief (2013)

spacetime coordinates: 1938 – 1945 Germany

The Book Thief is a 2013 World War II war drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey RushEmily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse. The film is based on the 2005 novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and adapted by Michael Petroni. The film is about a young girl living with her adoptive German family during the Nazi era. Taught to read by her kind-hearted foster father, the girl begins “borrowing” books and sharing them with the Jewish refugee being sheltered by her foster parents in their home. The film features a musical score by Oscar-winning composer John Williams. (wiki)

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